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Workshop: Trustworthy and Socially Responsible Machine Learning

Just Avoid Robust Inaccuracy: Boosting Robustness Without Sacrificing Accuracy

Yannick Merkli · Pavol Bielik · Petar Tsankov · Martin Vechev

Abstract: While current methods for training robust deep learning models optimize robust accuracy, they significantly reduce natural accuracy, hindering their adoption in practice.Further, the resulting models are often both robust and inaccurate on numerous samples, providing a false sense of safety for those.In this work, we extend prior works in three main directions. First, we explicitly train the models to jointly maximize robust accuracy and minimize robust inaccuracy. Second, since the resulting models are trained to be robust only if they are accurate, we leverage robustness as a principled abstain mechanism. Finally, this abstain mechanism allows us to combine models in a compositional architecture that significantly boosts overall robustness without sacrificing accuracy. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach for empirical robustness on four recent state-of-the-art models and four datasets. For example, on CIFAR-10 with $\epsilon_\infty = 1/255$, we successfully enhanced the robust accuracy of a pre-trained model from 26.2% to 87.8% while even slightly increasing its natural accuracy from 97.8% to 98.0%.

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