Exact Adversarial Attack to Image Captioning via Structured Output Learning With Latent Variables

Yan Xu, Baoyuan Wu, Fumin Shen, Yanbo Fan, Yong Zhang, Heng Tao Shen, Wei Liu; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 4135-4144

Abstract


In this work, we study the robustness of a CNN+RNN based image captioning system being subjected to adversarial noises. We propose to fool an image captioning system to generate some targeted partial captions for an image polluted by adversarial noises, even the targeted captions are totally irrelevant to the image content. A partial caption indicates that the words at some locations in this caption are observed, while words at other locations are not restricted. It is the first work to study exact adversarial attacks of targeted partial captions. Due to the sequential dependencies among words in a caption, we formulate the generation of adversarial noises for targeted partial captions as a structured output learning problem with latent variables. Both the generalized expectation maximization algorithm and structural SVMs with latent variables are then adopted to optimize the problem. The proposed methods generate very successful attacks to three popular CNN+RNN based image captioning models. Furthermore, the proposed attack methods are used to understand the inner mechanism of image captioning systems, providing the guidance to further improve automatic image captioning systems towards human captioning.

Related Material


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[bibtex]
@InProceedings{Xu_2019_CVPR,
author = {Xu, Yan and Wu, Baoyuan and Shen, Fumin and Fan, Yanbo and Zhang, Yong and Shen, Heng Tao and Liu, Wei},
title = {Exact Adversarial Attack to Image Captioning via Structured Output Learning With Latent Variables},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}
}