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Aochuan Chen

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To Generate or Not? Safety-Driven Unlearned Diffusion Models Are Still Easy To Generate Unsafe Images ... For Now

Oct 18, 2023
Yimeng Zhang, Jinghan Jia, Xin Chen, Aochuan Chen, Yihua Zhang, Jiancheng Liu, Ke Ding, Sijia Liu

The recent advances in diffusion models (DMs) have revolutionized the generation of complex and diverse images. However, these models also introduce potential safety hazards, such as the production of harmful content and infringement of data copyrights. Although there have been efforts to create safety-driven unlearning methods to counteract these challenges, doubts remain about their capabilities. To bridge this uncertainty, we propose an evaluation framework built upon adversarial attacks (also referred to as adversarial prompts), in order to discern the trustworthiness of these safety-driven unlearned DMs. Specifically, our research explores the (worst-case) robustness of unlearned DMs in eradicating unwanted concepts, styles, and objects, assessed by the generation of adversarial prompts. We develop a novel adversarial learning approach called UnlearnDiff that leverages the inherent classification capabilities of DMs to streamline the generation of adversarial prompts, making it as simple for DMs as it is for image classification attacks. This technique streamlines the creation of adversarial prompts, making the process as intuitive for generative modeling as it is for image classification assaults. Through comprehensive benchmarking, we assess the unlearning robustness of five prevalent unlearned DMs across multiple tasks. Our results underscore the effectiveness and efficiency of UnlearnDiff when compared to state-of-the-art adversarial prompting methods. Codes are available at WARNING: This paper contains model outputs that may be offensive in nature.

* Codes are available at 
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Selectivity Drives Productivity: Efficient Dataset Pruning for Enhanced Transfer Learning

Oct 16, 2023
Yihua Zhang, Yimeng Zhang, Aochuan Chen, Jinghan Jia, Jiancheng Liu, Gaowen Liu, Mingyi Hong, Shiyu Chang, Sijia Liu

Massive data is often considered essential for deep learning applications, but it also incurs significant computational and infrastructural costs. Therefore, dataset pruning (DP) has emerged as an effective way to improve data efficiency by identifying and removing redundant training samples without sacrificing performance. In this work, we aim to address the problem of DP for transfer learning, i.e., how to prune a source dataset for improved pretraining efficiency and lossless finetuning accuracy on downstream target tasks. To our best knowledge, the problem of DP for transfer learning remains open, as previous studies have primarily addressed DP and transfer learning as separate problems. By contrast, we establish a unified viewpoint to integrate DP with transfer learning and find that existing DP methods are not suitable for the transfer learning paradigm. We then propose two new DP methods, label mapping and feature mapping, for supervised and self-supervised pretraining settings respectively, by revisiting the DP problem through the lens of source-target domain mapping. Furthermore, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on numerous transfer learning tasks. We show that source data classes can be pruned by up to 40% ~ 80% without sacrificing downstream performance, resulting in a significant 2 ~ 5 times speed-up during the pretraining stage. Besides, our proposal exhibits broad applicability and can improve other computationally intensive transfer learning techniques, such as adversarial pretraining. Codes are available at

* Thirty-seventh Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2023) 
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DeepZero: Scaling up Zeroth-Order Optimization for Deep Model Training

Oct 03, 2023
Aochuan Chen, Yimeng Zhang, Jinghan Jia, James Diffenderfer, Jiancheng Liu, Konstantinos Parasyris, Yihua Zhang, Zheng Zhang, Bhavya Kailkhura, Sijia Liu

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Zeroth-order (ZO) optimization has become a popular technique for solving machine learning (ML) problems when first-order (FO) information is difficult or impossible to obtain. However, the scalability of ZO optimization remains an open problem: Its use has primarily been limited to relatively small-scale ML problems, such as sample-wise adversarial attack generation. To our best knowledge, no prior work has demonstrated the effectiveness of ZO optimization in training deep neural networks (DNNs) without a significant decrease in performance. To overcome this roadblock, we develop DeepZero, a principled ZO deep learning (DL) framework that can scale ZO optimization to DNN training from scratch through three primary innovations. First, we demonstrate the advantages of coordinate-wise gradient estimation (CGE) over randomized vector-wise gradient estimation in training accuracy and computational efficiency. Second, we propose a sparsity-induced ZO training protocol that extends the model pruning methodology using only finite differences to explore and exploit the sparse DL prior in CGE. Third, we develop the methods of feature reuse and forward parallelization to advance the practical implementations of ZO training. Our extensive experiments show that DeepZero achieves state-of-the-art (SOTA) accuracy on ResNet-20 trained on CIFAR-10, approaching FO training performance for the first time. Furthermore, we show the practical utility of DeepZero in applications of certified adversarial defense and DL-based partial differential equation error correction, achieving 10-20% improvement over SOTA. We believe our results will inspire future research on scalable ZO optimization and contribute to advancing DL with black box.

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Understanding and Improving Visual Prompting: A Label-Mapping Perspective

Nov 21, 2022
Aochuan Chen, Yuguang Yao, Pin-Yu Chen, Yihua Zhang, Sijia Liu

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We revisit and advance visual prompting (VP), an input prompting technique for vision tasks. VP can reprogram a fixed, pre-trained source model to accomplish downstream tasks in the target domain by simply incorporating universal prompts (in terms of input perturbation patterns) into downstream data points. Yet, it remains elusive why VP stays effective even given a ruleless label mapping (LM) between the source classes and the target classes. Inspired by the above, we ask: How is LM interrelated with VP? And how to exploit such a relationship to improve its accuracy on target tasks? We peer into the influence of LM on VP and provide an affirmative answer that a better 'quality' of LM (assessed by mapping precision and explanation) can consistently improve the effectiveness of VP. This is in contrast to the prior art where the factor of LM was missing. To optimize LM, we propose a new VP framework, termed ILM-VP (iterative label mapping-based visual prompting), which automatically re-maps the source labels to the target labels and progressively improves the target task accuracy of VP. Further, when using a contrastive language-image pretrained (CLIP) model, we propose to integrate an LM process to assist the text prompt selection of CLIP and to improve the target task accuracy. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our proposal significantly outperforms state-of-the-art VP methods. As highlighted below, we show that when reprogramming an ImageNet-pretrained ResNet-18 to 13 target tasks, our method outperforms baselines by a substantial margin, e.g., 7.9% and 6.7% accuracy improvements in transfer learning to the target Flowers102 and CIFAR100 datasets. Besides, our proposal on CLIP-based VP provides 13.7% and 7.1% accuracy improvements on Flowers102 and DTD respectively. Our code is available at

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Visual Prompting for Adversarial Robustness

Oct 12, 2022
Aochuan Chen, Peter Lorenz, Yuguang Yao, Pin-Yu Chen, Sijia Liu

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In this work, we leverage visual prompting (VP) to improve adversarial robustness of a fixed, pre-trained model at testing time. Compared to conventional adversarial defenses, VP allows us to design universal (i.e., data-agnostic) input prompting templates, which have plug-and-play capabilities at testing time to achieve desired model performance without introducing much computation overhead. Although VP has been successfully applied to improving model generalization, it remains elusive whether and how it can be used to defend against adversarial attacks. We investigate this problem and show that the vanilla VP approach is not effective in adversarial defense since a universal input prompt lacks the capacity for robust learning against sample-specific adversarial perturbations. To circumvent it, we propose a new VP method, termed Class-wise Adversarial Visual Prompting (C-AVP), to generate class-wise visual prompts so as to not only leverage the strengths of ensemble prompts but also optimize their interrelations to improve model robustness. Our experiments show that C-AVP outperforms the conventional VP method, with 2.1X standard accuracy gain and 2X robust accuracy gain. Compared to classical test-time defenses, C-AVP also yields a 42X inference time speedup.

* 6 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables 
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