skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Enhancing Adversarial Defense by k-Winners-Take-All
We propose a simple change to existing neural network structures for better defending against gradient-based adversarial attacks. Instead of using popular activation functions (such as ReLU), we advocate the use of k-Winners-Take-All (k-WTA) activation, a C0 discontinuous function that purposely invalidates the neural network model's gradient at densely distributed input data points. The proposed k-WTA activation can be readily used in nearly all existing networks and training methods with no significant overhead. Our proposal is theoretically rationalized. We analyze why the discontinuities in k-WTA networks can largely prevent gradient-based search of adversarial examples and why they at the same time remain innocuous to the network training. This understanding is also empirically backed. We test k-WTA activation on various network structures optimized by a training method, be it adversarial training or not. In all cases, the robustness of k-WTA networks outperforms that of traditional networks under white-box attacks.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1816041
NSF-PAR ID:
10347305
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
International Conference on Learning Representations
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Models produced by machine learning, particularly deep neural networks, are state-of-the-art for many machine learning tasks and demonstrate very high prediction accuracy. Unfortunately, these models are also very brittle and vulnerable to specially crafted adversarial examples. Recent results have shown that accuracy of these models can be reduced from close to hundred percent to below 5\% using adversarial examples. This brittleness of deep neural networks makes it challenging to deploy these learning models in security-critical areas where adversarial activity is expected, and cannot be ignored. A number of methods have been recently proposed to craft more effective and generalizable attacks on neural networks along with competing efforts to improve robustness of these learning models. But the current approaches to make machine learning techniques more resilient fall short of their goal. Further, the succession of new adversarial attacks against proposed methods to increase neural network robustness raises doubts about a foolproof approach to robustify machine learning models against all possible adversarial attacks. In this paper, we consider the problem of detecting adversarial examples. This would help identify when the learning models cannot be trusted without attempting to repair the models or make them robust to adversarial attacks. This goal of finding limitations of the learning model presents a more tractable approach to protecting against adversarial attacks. Our approach is based on identifying a low dimensional manifold in which the training samples lie, and then using the distance of a new observation from this manifold to identify whether this data point is adversarial or not. Our empirical study demonstrates that adversarial examples not only lie farther away from the data manifold, but this distance from manifold of the adversarial examples increases with the attack confidence. Thus, adversarial examples that are likely to result into incorrect prediction by the machine learning model is also easier to detect by our approach. This is a first step towards formulating a novel approach based on computational geometry that can identify the limiting boundaries of a machine learning model, and detect adversarial attacks. 
    more » « less
  2. Purpose

    To develop an improved k‐space reconstruction method using scan‐specific deep learning that is trained on autocalibration signal (ACS) data.

    Theory

    Robust artificial‐neural‐networks for k‐space interpolation (RAKI) reconstruction trains convolutional neural networks on ACS data. This enables nonlinear estimation of missing k‐space lines from acquired k‐space data with improved noise resilience, as opposed to conventional linear k‐space interpolation‐based methods, such as GRAPPA, which are based on linear convolutional kernels.

    Methods

    The training algorithm is implemented using a mean square error loss function over the target points in the ACS region, using a gradient descent algorithm. The neural network contains 3 layers of convolutional operators, with 2 of these including nonlinear activation functions. The noise performance and reconstruction quality of the RAKI method was compared with GRAPPA in phantom, as well as in neurological and cardiac in vivo data sets.

    Results

    Phantom imaging shows that the proposed RAKI method outperforms GRAPPA at high (≥4) acceleration rates, both visually and quantitatively. Quantitative cardiac imaging shows improved noise resilience at high acceleration rates (rate 4:23% and rate 5:48%) over GRAPPA. The same trend of improved noise resilience is also observed in high‐resolution brain imaging at high acceleration rates.

    Conclusion

    The RAKI method offers a training database‐free deep learning approach for MRI reconstruction, with the potential to improve many existing reconstruction approaches, and is compatible with conventional data acquisition protocols.

     
    more » « less
  3. Existing adversarial algorithms for Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) have largely focused on identifying an optimal time to attack a DRL agent. However, little work has been explored in injecting efficient adversarial perturbations in DRL environments. We propose a suite of novel DRL adversarial attacks, called ACADIA, representing AttaCks Against Deep reInforcement leArning. ACADIA provides a set of efficient and robust perturbation-based adversarial attacks to disturb the DRL agent's decision-making based on novel combinations of techniques utilizing momentum, ADAM optimizer (i.e., Root Mean Square Propagation, or RMSProp), and initial randomization. These kinds of DRL attacks with novel integration of such techniques have not been studied in the existing Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) and DRL research. We consider two well-known DRL algorithms, Deep-Q Learning Network (DQN) and Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO), under Atari games and MuJoCo where both targeted and non-targeted attacks are considered with or without the state-of-the-art defenses in DRL (i.e., RADIAL and ATLA). Our results demonstrate that the proposed ACADIA outperforms existing gradient-based counterparts under a wide range of experimental settings. ACADIA is nine times faster than the state-of-the-art Carlini & Wagner (CW) method with better performance under defenses of DRL. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract Quantized or low-bit neural networks are attractive due to their inference efficiency. However, training deep neural networks with quantized activations involves minimizing a discontinuous and piecewise constant loss function. Such a loss function has zero gradient almost everywhere (a.e.), which makes the conventional gradient-based algorithms inapplicable. To this end, we study a novel class of biased first-order oracle, termed coarse gradient, for overcoming the vanished gradient issue. A coarse gradient is generated by replacing the a.e. zero derivative of quantized (i.e., staircase) ReLU activation composited in the chain rule with some heuristic proxy derivative called straight-through estimator (STE). Although having been widely used in training quantized networks empirically, fundamental questions like when and why the ad hoc STE trick works, still lack theoretical understanding. In this paper, we propose a class of STEs with certain monotonicity and consider their applications to the training of a two-linear-layer network with quantized activation functions for nonlinear multi-category classification. We establish performance guarantees for the proposed STEs by showing that the corresponding coarse gradient methods converge to the global minimum, which leads to a perfect classification. Lastly, we present experimental results on synthetic data as well as MNIST dataset to verify our theoretical findings and demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed STEs. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Purpose

    Synthetic digital mammogram (SDM) is a 2D image generated from digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) and used as a substitute for a full‐field digital mammogram (FFDM) to reduce the radiation dose for breast cancer screening. The previous deep learning‐based method used FFDM images as the ground truth, and trained a single neural network to directly generate SDM images with similar appearances (e.g., intensity distribution, textures) to the FFDM images. However, the FFDM image has a different texture pattern from DBT. The difference in texture pattern might make the training of the neural network unstable and result in high‐intensity distortion, which makes it hard to decrease intensity distortion and increase perceptual similarity (e.g., generate similar textures) at the same time. Clinically, radiologists want to have a 2D synthesized image that feels like an FFDM image in vision and preserves local structures such as both mass and microcalcifications (MCs) in DBT because radiologists have been trained on reading FFDM images for a long time, while local structures are important for diagnosis. In this study, we proposed to use a deep convolutional neural network to learn the transformation to generate SDM from DBT.

    Method

    To decrease intensity distortion and increase perceptual similarity, a multi‐scale cascaded network (MSCN) is proposed to generate low‐frequency structures (e.g., intensity distribution) and high‐frequency structures (e.g., textures) separately. The MSCN consist of two cascaded sub‐networks: the first sub‐network is used to predict the low‐frequency part of the FFDM image; the second sub‐network is used to generate a full SDM image with textures similar to the FFDM image based on the prediction of the first sub‐network. The mean‐squared error (MSE) objective function is used to train the first sub‐network, termed low‐frequency network, to generate a low‐frequency SDM image. The gradient‐guided generative adversarial network's objective function is to train the second sub‐network, termed high‐frequency network, to generate a full SDM image with textures similar to the FFDM image.

    Results

    1646 cases with FFDM and DBT were retrospectively collected from the Hologic Selenia system for training and validation dataset, and 145 cases with masses or MC clusters were independently collected from the Hologic Selenia system for testing dataset. For comparison, the baseline network has the same architecture as the high‐frequency network and directly generates a full SDM image. Compared to the baseline method, the proposed MSCN improves the peak‐to‐noise ratio from 25.3 to 27.9 dB and improves the structural similarity from 0.703 to 0.724, and significantly increases the perceptual similarity.

    Conclusions

    The proposed method can stabilize the training and generate SDM images with lower intensity distortion and higher perceptual similarity.

     
    more » « less