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AutoLoRa: An Automated Robust Fine-Tuning Framework

Xilie Xu · Jingfeng Zhang · Mohan Kankanhalli

Halle B #215
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Thu 9 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Robust Fine-Tuning (RFT) is a low-cost strategy to obtain adversarial robustness in downstream applications, without requiring a lot of computational resources and collecting significant amounts of data. This paper uncovers an issue with the existing RFT, where optimizing both adversarial and natural objectives through the feature extractor (FE) yields significantly divergent gradient directions. This divergence introduces instability in the optimization process, thereby hindering the attainment of adversarial robustness and rendering RFT highly sensitive to hyperparameters. To mitigate this issue, we propose a low-rank (LoRa) branch that disentangles RFT into two distinct components: optimizing natural objectives via the LoRa branch and adversarial objectives via the FE. Besides, we introduce heuristic strategies for automating the scheduling of the learning rate and the scalars of loss terms. Extensive empirical evaluations demonstrate that our proposed automated RFT disentangled via the LoRa branch (AutoLoRa) achieves new state-of-the-art results across a range of downstream tasks. AutoLoRa holds significant practical utility, as it automatically converts a pre-trained FE into an adversarially robust model for downstream tasks without the need for searching hyperparameters. Our source code is available at the GitHub.

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