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Improving Robustness against Real-World and Worst-Case Distribution Shifts through Decision Region Quantification

Leo Schwinn · Leon Bungert · An Nguyen · RenĂ© Raab · Falk Pulsmeyer · Doina Precup · Bjoern Eskofier · Dario Zanca


Keywords: [ DL: Algorithms ] [ DL: Robustness ]


The reliability of neural networks is essential for their use in safety-critical applications. Existing approaches generally aim at improving the robustness of neural networks to either real-world distribution shifts (e.g., common corruptions and perturbations, spatial transformations, and natural adversarial examples) or worst-case distribution shifts (e.g., optimized adversarial examples). In this work, we propose the Decision Region Quantification (DRQ) algorithm to improve the robustness of any differentiable pre-trained model against both real-world and worst-case distribution shifts in the data. DRQ analyzes the robustness of local decision regions in the vicinity of a given data point to make more reliable predictions. We theoretically motivate the DRQ algorithm by showing that it effectively smooths spurious local extrema in the decision surface. Furthermore, we propose an implementation using targeted and untargeted adversarial attacks. An extensive empirical evaluation shows that DRQ increases the robustness of adversarially and non-adversarially trained models against real-world and worst-case distribution shifts on several computer vision benchmark datasets.

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