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BiasAdv: Bias-Adversarial Augmentation for Model Debiasing
Neural networks are often prone to bias toward spurious correlations inherent in a dataset, thus failing to generalize unbiased test criteria. A key challenge to resolving the issue is the significant lack of bias-conflicting training data (i.e., samples without spurious correlations). In this paper, we propose a novel data augmentation approach termed Bias-Adversarial augmentation (BiasAdv) that supplements bias-conflicting samples with adversarial images. Our key idea is that an adversarial attack on a biased model that makes decisions based on spurious correlations may generate synthetic bias-conflicting samples, which can then be used as augmented training data for learning a debiased model. Specifically, we formulate an optimization problem for generating adversarial images that attack the predictions of an auxiliary biased model without ruining the predictions of the desired debiased model. Despite its simplicity, we find that BiasAdv can generate surprisingly useful synthetic bias-conflicting samples, allowing the debiased model to learn generalizable representations. Furthermore, BiasAdv does not require any bias annotations or prior knowledge of the bias type, which enables its broad applicability to existing debiasing methods to improve their performances. Our extensive experimental results demonstrate the superiority of BiasAdv, achieving state-of-the-art performance on four popular benchmark datasets across various bias domains.