Workshop: Workshop on Formal Verification of Machine Learning

Toward Certified Robustness Against Real-World Distribution Shifts

Haoze Wu · TERUHIRO TAGOMORI · Alex Robey · Fengjun Yang · Nikolai Matni · George J. Pappas · Hamed Hassani · Corina Pasareanu · Clark Barrett


We consider the problem of certifying the robustness of deep neural networks against real-world distribution shifts. To do so, we bridge the gap between hand-crafted specifications and realistic deployment settings by proposing a novel neural-symbolic verification framework, in which we train a generative model to learn perturbations from data and define specifications with respect to the output of the learned model. A unique challenge arising from this setting is that existing verifiers cannot tightly approximate sigmoid activations, which are fundamental to many state-of-the-art generative models. To address this challenge, we propose a general meta-algorithm for handling sigmoid activations which leverages classical notions of counter-example-guided abstraction refinement. The key idea is to ``lazily'' refine the abstraction of sigmoid functions to exclude spurious counter-examples found in the previous abstraction, thus guaranteeing progress in the verification process while keeping the state-space small. Experiments on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets show that our framework significantly outperforms existing methods on a range of challenging distribution shifts.

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