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CRFL: Certifiably Robust Federated Learning against Backdoor Attacks
Chulin Xie · Minghao Chen · Pin-Yu Chen · Bo Li

Thu Jul 22 05:40 PM -- 05:45 PM (PDT) @

Federated Learning (FL) as a distributed learning paradigm that aggregates information from diverse clients to train a shared global model, has demonstrated great success. However, malicious clients can perform poisoning attacks and model replacement to introduce backdoors into the trained global model. Although there have been intensive studies designing robust aggregation methods and empirical robust federated training protocols against backdoors, existing approaches lack robustness certification. This paper provides the first general framework, Certifiably Robust Federated Learning (CRFL), to train certifiably robust FL models against backdoors. Our method exploits clipping and smoothing on model parameters to control the global model smoothness, which yields a sample-wise robustness certification on backdoors with limited magnitude. Our certification also specifies the relation to federated learning parameters, such as poisoning ratio on instance level, number of attackers, and training iterations. Practically, we conduct comprehensive experiments across a range of federated datasets, and provide the first benchmark for certified robustness against backdoor attacks in federated learning. Our code is publicaly available at https://github.com/AI-secure/CRFL.

Author Information

Chulin Xie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Minghao Chen (Zhejiang University)
Pin-Yu Chen (IBM Research AI)
Bo Li (UIUC)
Bo Li

Dr. Bo Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She is the recipient of the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, AI’s 10 to Watch, NSF CAREER Award, MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, C.W. Gear Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Intel Rising Star award, Symantec Research Labs Fellowship, Rising Star Award, Research Awards from Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Intel, IBM, and eBay, and best paper awards at several top machine learning and security conferences. Her research focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of trustworthy machine learning, which is at the intersection of machine learning, security, privacy, and game theory. She has designed several scalable frameworks for trustworthy machine learning and privacy-preserving data publishing. Her work has been featured by major publications and media outlets such as Nature, Wired, Fortune, and New York Times.

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