Ensemble Defense with Data Diversity: Weak Correlation Implies Strong Robustness

Renjue Li, Hanwei Zhang, Pengfei Yang, Cheng-Chao Huang, Aimin Zhou, Bai Xue, Lijun Zhang

In this paper, we propose a framework of filter-based ensemble of deep neuralnetworks (DNNs) to defend against adversarial attacks. The framework builds an ensemble of sub-models -- DNNs with differentiated preprocessing filters. From the theoretical perspective of DNN robustness, we argue that under the assumption of high quality of the filters, the weaker the correlations of the sensitivity of the filters are, the more robust the ensemble model tends to be, and this is corroborated by the experiments of transfer-based attacks. Correspondingly, we propose a principle that chooses the specific filters with smaller Pearson correlation coefficients, which ensures the diversity of the inputs received by DNNs, as well as the effectiveness of the entire framework against attacks. Our ensemble models are more robust than those constructed by previous defense methods like adversarial training, and even competitive with the classical ensemble of adversarial trained DNNs under adversarial attacks when the attacking radius is large.

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