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Tue May 01 10:30 AM -- 10:45 AM (PDT) @ Exhibition Hall A
Certifying Some Distributional Robustness with Principled Adversarial Training
Aman Sinha · Hong Namkoong · John Duchi

Neural networks are vulnerable to adversarial examples and researchers have proposed many heuristic attack and defense mechanisms. We take the principled view of distributionally robust optimization, which guarantees performance under adversarial input perturbations. By considering a Lagrangian penalty formulation of perturbation of the underlying data distribution in a Wasserstein ball, we provide a training procedure that augments model parameter updates with worst-case perturbations of training data. For smooth losses, our procedure provably achieves moderate levels of robustness with little computational or statistical cost relative to empirical risk minimization. Furthermore, our statistical guarantees allow us to efficiently certify robustness for the population loss. For imperceptible perturbations, our method matches or outperforms heuristic approaches.