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Embodied Active Defense: Leveraging Recurrent Feedback to Counter Adversarial Patches

Lingxuan Wu · Xiao Yang · Yinpeng Dong · Liuwei XIE · Hang Su · Jun Zhu

Halle B #227
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


The vulnerability of deep neural networks to adversarial patches has motivated numerous defense strategies for boosting model robustness. However, the prevailing defenses depend on single observation or pre-established adversary information to counter adversarial patches, often failing to be confronted with unseen or adaptive adversarial attacks and easily exhibiting unsatisfying performance in dynamic 3D environments. Inspired by active human perception and recurrent feedback mechanisms, we develop Embodied Active Defense (EAD), a proactive defensive strategy that actively contextualizes environmental information to address misaligned adversarial patches in 3D real-world settings. To achieve this, EAD develops two central recurrent sub-modules, i.e., a perception module and a policy module, to implement two critical functions of active vision. These models recurrently process a series of beliefs and observations, facilitating progressive refinement of their comprehension of the target object and enabling the development of strategic actions to counter adversarial patches in 3D environments. To optimize learning efficiency, we incorporate a differentiable approximation of environmental dynamics and deploy patches that are agnostic to the adversary’s strategies. Extensive experiments demonstrate that EAD substantially enhances robustness against a variety of patches within just a few steps through its action policy in safety-critical tasks (e.g., face recognition and object detection), without compromising standard accuracy. Furthermore, due to the attack-agnostic characteristic, EAD facilitates excellent generalization to unseen attacks, diminishing the averaged attack success rate by 95% across a range of unseen adversarial attacks.

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