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Ground-Truth Adversarial Examples

by   Nicholas Carlini, et al.

The ability to deploy neural networks in real-world, safety-critical systems is severely limited by the presence of adversarial examples: slightly perturbed inputs that are misclassified by the network. In recent years, several techniques have been proposed for training networks that are robust to such examples; and each time stronger attacks have been devised, demonstrating the shortcomings of existing defenses. This highlights a key difficulty in designing an effective defense: the inability to assess a network's robustness against future attacks. We propose to address this difficulty through formal verification techniques. We construct ground truths: adversarial examples with provably minimal perturbation. We demonstrate how ground truths can serve to assess the effectiveness of attack techniques, by comparing the adversarial examples produced to the ground truths; and also of defense techniques, by measuring the increase in distortion to ground truths in the hardened network versus the original. We use this technique to assess recently suggested attack and defense techniques.


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