Rethinking Uncertainty in Deep Learning: Whether and How it Improves Robustness

11/27/2020 ∙ by Yilun Jin, et al. ∙ 0

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are known to be prone to adversarial attacks, for which many remedies are proposed. While adversarial training (AT) is regarded as the most robust defense, it suffers from poor performance both on clean examples and under other types of attacks, e.g. attacks with larger perturbations. Meanwhile, regularizers that encourage uncertain outputs, such as entropy maximization (EntM) and label smoothing (LS) can maintain accuracy on clean examples and improve performance under weak attacks, yet their ability to defend against strong attacks is still in doubt. In this paper, we revisit uncertainty promotion regularizers, including EntM and LS, in the field of adversarial learning. We show that EntM and LS alone provide robustness only under small perturbations. Contrarily, we show that uncertainty promotion regularizers complement AT in a principled manner, consistently improving performance on both clean examples and under various attacks, especially attacks with large perturbations. We further analyze how uncertainty promotion regularizers enhance the performance of AT from the perspective of Jacobian matrices ∇_X f(X;θ), and find out that EntM effectively shrinks the norm of Jacobian matrices and hence promotes robustness.

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