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Probabilistic Categorical Adversarial Attack and Adversarial Training

Han Xu · Pengfei He · Jie Ren · Yuxuan Wan · Zitao Liu · Hui Liu · Jiliang Tang

Exhibit Hall 1 #601
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The studies on adversarial attacks and defenses have greatly improved the robustness of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). Most advanced approaches have been overwhelmingly designed for continuous data such as images. However, these achievements are still hard to be generalized to categorical data. To bridge this gap, we propose a novel framework, Probabilistic Categorical Adversarial Attack (or PCAA). It transfers the discrete optimization problem of finding categorical adversarial examples to a continuous problem that can be solved via gradient-based methods. We analyze the optimality (attack success rate) and time complexity of PCAA to demonstrate its significant advantage over current search-based attacks. More importantly, through extensive empirical studies, we demonstrate that the well-established defenses for continuous data, such as adversarial training and TRADES, can be easily accommodated to defend DNNs for categorical data.

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