Reconstructing Training Data From Diverse ML Models by Ensemble Inversion

Qian Wang, Daniel Kurz; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2022, pp. 2909-2917


Model Inversion (MI), in which an adversary abuses access to a trained Machine Learning (ML) model attempting to infer sensitive information about its original training data, has attracted increasing research attention. During MI, the trained model under attack (MUA) is usually frozen and used to guide the training of a generator, such as a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), to reconstruct the distribution prior of that model. This might cause leakage of original training samples, and if successful, the privacy of dataset subjects will be at risk if the training data contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Therefore, an in-depth investigation of the potentials of MI techniques is crucial for the development of corresponding defense techniques. High-quality reconstruction of training data based on a single model is challenging. However, existing MI literature does not explore targeting multiple trained models simultaneously, which may provide additional information and diverse perspectives to the adversary. In this work, we propose the ensemble inversion technique that estimates the distribution of original training data, by training a generator constrained by an ensemble (or set) of trained models with shared subjects or entities. This technique leads to noticeable improvements of the quality of the generated samples with distinguishable features of the dataset entities compared to MI of a single model. We utilize an auxiliary dataset that's similar to the presumed training data, but we also demonstrate high quality data-free model inversion without such dataset. The impact of model diversity in the ensemble is thoroughly investigated in this work, and additional constraints are utilized to further encourage sharp predictions and high activations for the reconstructed samples, leading to more accurate reconstruction of training images.

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@InProceedings{Wang_2022_WACV, author = {Wang, Qian and Kurz, Daniel}, title = {Reconstructing Training Data From Diverse ML Models by Ensemble Inversion}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2022}, pages = {2909-2917} }