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Contributor-Aware Defenses Against Adversarial Backdoor Attacks
  • Glenn Dawson ,
  • Muhammad Umer ,
  • Robi Polikar
Glenn Dawson
Rowan University

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Muhammad Umer
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Robi Polikar
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Deep neural networks for image classifi cation are well-known to be vulnerable to adversarial attacks. One such attack that has garnered recent attention is the adversarial backdoor attack, which has demonstrated the capability to perform targeted misclassifi cation of specifi c examples. In particular, backdoor attacks attempt to force a model to learn spurious relations between backdoor trigger patterns and false labels. In response to this threat, numerous defensive measures have been proposed; however, defenses against backdoor attacks focus on backdoor pattern detection, which may be unreliable against novel or unexpected types of backdoor pattern designs. We introduce a novel re-contextualization of the adversarial setting, where the presence of an adversary implicitly admits the existence of multiple database contributors. Then, under the mild assumption of contributor awareness, it becomes possible to exploit this knowledge to defend against backdoor attacks by destroying the false label associations. We propose a contributor-aware universal defensive framework for learning in the presence of multiple, potentially adversarial data sources that utilizes semi-supervised ensembles and learning from crowds to fi lter the false labels produced by adversarial triggers. Importantly, this defensive strategy is agnostic to backdoor pattern design, as it functions without needing—or even attempting—to perform either adversary identifi cation or backdoor pattern detection during either training or inference. Our empirical studies demonstrate the robustness of the proposed framework against adversarial backdoor attacks from multiple simultaneous adversaries.