Adversarial Examples Improve Image Recognition

Cihang Xie, Mingxing Tan, Boqing Gong, Jiang Wang, Alan L. Yuille, Quoc V. Le; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2020, pp. 819-828


Adversarial examples are commonly viewed as a threat to ConvNets. Here we present an opposite perspective: adversarial examples can be used to improve image recognition models if harnessed in the right manner. We propose AdvProp, an enhanced adversarial training scheme which treats adversarial examples as additional examples, to prevent overfitting. Key to our method is the usage of a separate auxiliary batch norm for adversarial examples, as they have different underlying distributions to normal examples. We show that AdvProp improves a wide range of models on various image recognition tasks and performs better when the models are bigger. For instance, by applying AdvProp to the latest EfficientNet-B7 [28] on ImageNet, we achieve significant improvements on ImageNet (+0.7%), ImageNet-C (+6.5%), ImageNet-A (+7.0%), Stylized-ImageNet (+4.8%). With an enhanced EfficientNet-B8, our method achieves the state-of-the-art 85.5% ImageNet top-1 accuracy without extra data. This result even surpasses the best model in [20] which is trained with 3.5B Instagram images ( 3000X more than ImageNet) and 9.4X more parameters. Code and models will be made publicly available.

Related Material

author = {Xie, Cihang and Tan, Mingxing and Gong, Boqing and Wang, Jiang and Yuille, Alan L. and Le, Quoc V.},
title = {Adversarial Examples Improve Image Recognition},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2020}