- [pdf] [supp] [arXiv]
Towards Robust Model Watermark via Reducing Parametric Vulnerability
Deep neural networks are valuable assets considering their commercial benefits and huge demands for costly annotation and computation resources. To protect the copyright of DNNs, backdoor-based ownership verification becomes popular recently, in which the model owner can watermark the model by embedding a specific backdoor behavior before releasing it. The defenders (usually the model owners) can identify whether a suspicious third-party model is "stolen" from them based on the presence of the behavior. Unfortunately, these watermarks are proven to be vulnerable to removal attacks even like fine-tuning. To further explore this vulnerability, we investigate the parametric space and find there exist many watermark-removed models in the vicinity of the watermarked one, which may be easily used by removal attacks. Inspired by this finding, we propose a minimax formulation to find these watermark-removed models and recover their watermark behavior. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method improves the robustness of the model watermarking against parametric changes and numerous watermark-removal attacks. The codes for reproducing our main experiments are available at https://github.com/GuanhaoGan/robust-model-watermarking.