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Provably Robust Conformal Prediction with Improved Efficiency

Ge Yan · Yaniv Romano · Tsui-Wei Weng

Halle B #117
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Thu 9 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT

Abstract: Conformal prediction is a powerful tool to generate uncertainty sets with guaranteed coverage using any predictive model, under the assumption that the training and test data are i.i.d.. Recently, it has been shown that adversarial examples are able to manipulate conformal methods to construct prediction sets with invalid coverage rates, as the i.i.d. assumption is violated. To address this issue, a recent work, Randomized Smoothed Conformal Prediction (RSCP), was first proposed to certify the robustness of conformal prediction methods to adversarial noise. However, RSCP has two major limitations: (i) its robustness guarantee is flawed when used in practice and (ii) it tends to produce large uncertainty sets. To address these limitations, we first propose a novel framework called RSCP+ to provide provable robustness guarantee in evaluation, which fixes the issues in the original RSCP method. Next, we propose two novel methods, Post-Training Transformation (PTT) and Robust Conformal Training (RCT), to effectively reduce prediction set size with little computation overhead. Experimental results in CIFAR10, CIFAR100, and ImageNet suggest the baseline method only yields trivial predictions including full label set, while our methods could boost the efficiency by up to $4.36\times$, $5.46\times$, and $16.9\times$ respectively and provide practical robustness guarantee.

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