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Mutual Adversarial Training: Learning together is better than going alone

by   Jiang Liu, et al.

Recent studies have shown that robustness to adversarial attacks can be transferred across networks. In other words, we can make a weak model more robust with the help of a strong teacher model. We ask if instead of learning from a static teacher, can models "learn together" and "teach each other" to achieve better robustness? In this paper, we study how interactions among models affect robustness via knowledge distillation. We propose mutual adversarial training (MAT), in which multiple models are trained together and share the knowledge of adversarial examples to achieve improved robustness. MAT allows robust models to explore a larger space of adversarial samples, and find more robust feature spaces and decision boundaries. Through extensive experiments on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100, we demonstrate that MAT can effectively improve model robustness and outperform state-of-the-art methods under white-box attacks, bringing ∼8 training (AT) under PGD-100 attacks. In addition, we show that MAT can also mitigate the robustness trade-off among different perturbation types, bringing as much as 13.1 l_2 and l_1 attacks. These results show the superiority of the proposed method and demonstrate that collaborative learning is an effective strategy for designing robust models.


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