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[WHK18] M. Wicker, X. Huang, and M. Kwiatkowska. Feature-Guided Black-Box Safety Testing of Deep Neural Networks. In Proc. 24th International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems (TACAS'18), Springer. To appear. 2018. [pdf] [bib]
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Notes: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.
Abstract. Despite the improved accuracy of deep neural networks, the discovery of adversarial examples has raised serious safety concerns. Most existing approaches for crafting adversarial examples necessitate some knowledge (architecture, parameters, etc) of the network at hand. In this paper, we focus on image classifiers and propose a feature-guided black-box approach to test the safety of deep neural networks that requires no such knowledge. Our algorithm employs object detection techniques such as SIFT (Scale Invariant Feature Transform) to extract features from an image. These features are converted into a mutable saliency distribution, where high probability is assigned to pixels that affect the composition of the image with respect to the human visual system. We formulate the crafting of adversarial examples as a two-player turn-based stochastic game, where the first player’s objective is to minimise the distance to an adversarial example by manipulating the features, and the second player can be cooperative, adversarial, or random.We show that, theoretically, the two-player game can converge to the optimal strategy, and that the optimal strategy represents a globally minimal adversarial image. For Lipschitz networks, we also identify conditions that provide safety guarantees that no adversarial examples exist. Using Monte Carlo tree search we gradually explore the game state space to search for adversarial examples. Our experiments show that, despite the black-box setting, manipulations guided by a perception-based saliency distribution are competitive with state-of-the-art methods that rely on white-box saliency matrices or sophisticated optimization procedures. Finally, we show how our method can be used to evaluate robustness of neural networks in safety-critical applications such as traffic sign recognition in self-driving cars.

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