Practical Evaluation of Adversarial Robustness via Adaptive Auto Attack

Ye Liu, Yaya Cheng, Lianli Gao, Xianglong Liu, Qilong Zhang, Jingkuan Song; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 15105-15114


Defense models against adversarial attacks have grown significantly, but the lack of practical evaluation methods has hindered progress. Evaluation can be defined as looking for defense models' lower bound of robustness given a budget number of iterations and a test dataset. A practical evaluation method should be convenient (i.e., parameter-free), efficient (i.e., fewer iterations) and reliable (i.e., approaching the lower bound of robustness). Towards this target, we propose a parameter-free Adaptive Auto Attack (A3) evaluation method which addresses the efficiency and reliability in a test-time-training fashion. Specifically, by observing that adversarial examples to a specific defense model follow some regularities in their starting points, we design an Adaptive Direction Initialization strategy to speed up the evaluation. Furthermore, to approach the lower bound of robustness under the budget number of iterations, we propose an online statistics-based discarding strategy that automatically identifies and abandons hard-to-attack images. Extensive experiments on nearly 50 widely-used defense models demonstrate the effectiveness of our A3.By consuming much fewer iterations than existing methods, i.e., 1/10 on average (10x speed up), we achieve lower robust accuracy in all cases. Notably, we won first place out of 1681 teams in CVPR 2021 White-box Adversarial Attacks on Defense Models competitions with this method. Code is available at:

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@InProceedings{Liu_2022_CVPR, author = {Liu, Ye and Cheng, Yaya and Gao, Lianli and Liu, Xianglong and Zhang, Qilong and Song, Jingkuan}, title = {Practical Evaluation of Adversarial Robustness via Adaptive Auto Attack}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {15105-15114} }