Understanding Robust Learning through the Lens of Representation Similarities

Christian Cianfarani, Arjun Nitin Bhagoji, Vikash Sehwag, Ben Zhao, Haitao Zheng, Prateek Mittal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Representation learning, i.e. the generation of representations useful for downstream applications, is a task of fundamental importance that underlies much of the success of deep neural networks (DNNs). Recently, robustness to adversarial examples has emerged as a desirable property for DNNs, spurring the development of robust training methods that account for adversarial examples. In this paper, we aim to understand how the properties of representations learned by robust training differ from those obtained from standard, non-robust training. This is critical to diagnosing numerous salient pitfalls in robust networks, such as, degradation of performance on benign inputs, poor generalization of robustness, and increase in over-fitting. We utilize a powerful set of tools known as representation similarity metrics, across three vision datasets, to obtain layer-wise comparisons between robust and non-robust DNNs with different training procedures, architectural parameters and adversarial constraints. Our experiments highlight hitherto unseen properties of robust representations that we posit underlie the behavioral differences of robust networks. We discover a lack of specialization in robust networks' representations along with a disappearance of 'block structure'. We also find overfitting during robust training largely impacts deeper layers. These, along with other findings, suggest ways forward for the design and training of better robust networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 - 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
EditorsS. Koyejo, S. Mohamed, A. Agarwal, D. Belgrave, K. Cho, A. Oh
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871088
StatePublished - 2022
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2022Dec 9 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume35
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Conference

Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period11/28/2212/9/22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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