While state-of-the-art diffusion models (DMs) excel in image generation, concerns regarding their security persist. Earlier research highlighted DMs' vulnerability to backdoor attacks, but these studies placed stricter requirements than conventional methods like 'BadNets' in image classification. This is because the former necessitates modifications to the diffusion sampling and training procedures. Unlike the prior work, we investigate whether generating backdoor attacks in DMs can be as simple as BadNets, i.e., by only contaminating the training dataset without tampering the original diffusion process. In this more realistic backdoor setting, we uncover bilateral backdoor effects that not only serve an adversarial purpose (compromising the functionality of DMs) but also offer a defensive advantage (which can be leveraged for backdoor defense). Specifically, we find that a BadNets-like backdoor attack remains effective in DMs for producing incorrect images (misaligned with the intended text conditions), and thereby yielding incorrect predictions when DMs are used as classifiers. Meanwhile, backdoored DMs exhibit an increased ratio of backdoor triggers, a phenomenon we refer to as `trigger amplification', among the generated images. We show that this latter insight can be used to enhance the detection of backdoor-poisoned training data. Even under a low backdoor poisoning ratio, studying the backdoor effects of DMs is also valuable for designing anti-backdoor image classifiers. Last but not least, we establish a meaningful linkage between backdoor attacks and the phenomenon of data replications by exploring DMs' inherent data memorization tendencies. The codes of our work are available at https://github.com/OPTML-Group/BiBadDiff.
Recently, bi-level optimization (BLO) has taken center stage in some very exciting developments in the area of signal processing (SP) and machine learning (ML). Roughly speaking, BLO is a classical optimization problem that involves two levels of hierarchy (i.e., upper and lower levels), wherein obtaining the solution to the upper-level problem requires solving the lower-level one. BLO has become popular largely because it is powerful in modeling problems in SP and ML, among others, that involve optimizing nested objective functions. Prominent applications of BLO range from resource allocation for wireless systems to adversarial machine learning. In this work, we focus on a class of tractable BLO problems that often appear in SP and ML applications. We provide an overview of some basic concepts of this class of BLO problems, such as their optimality conditions, standard algorithms (including their optimization principles and practical implementations), as well as how they can be leveraged to obtain state-of-the-art results for a number of key SP and ML applications. Further, we discuss some recent advances in BLO theory, its implications for applications, and point out some limitations of the state-of-the-art that require significant future research efforts. Overall, we hope that this article can serve to accelerate the adoption of BLO as a generic tool to model, analyze, and innovate on a wide array of emerging SP and ML applications.
Recent data regulations necessitate machine unlearning (MU): The removal of the effect of specific examples from the model. While exact unlearning is possible by conducting a model retraining with the remaining data from scratch, its computational cost has led to the development of approximate but efficient unlearning schemes. Beyond data-centric MU solutions, we advance MU through a novel model-based viewpoint: sparsification via weight pruning. Our results in both theory and practice indicate that model sparsity can boost the multi-criteria unlearning performance of an approximate unlearner, closing the approximation gap, while continuing to be efficient. With this insight, we develop two new sparsity-aware unlearning meta-schemes, termed `prune first, then unlearn' and `sparsity-aware unlearning'. Extensive experiments show that our findings and proposals consistently benefit MU in various scenarios, including class-wise data scrubbing, random data scrubbing, and backdoor data forgetting. One highlight is the 77% unlearning efficacy gain of fine-tuning (one of the simplest approximate unlearning methods) in the proposed sparsity-aware unlearning paradigm. Codes are available at https://github.com/OPTML-Group/Unlearn-Sparse.
Numerous adversarial attack methods have been developed to generate imperceptible image perturbations that can cause erroneous predictions of state-of-the-art machine learning (ML) models, in particular, deep neural networks (DNNs). Despite intense research on adversarial attacks, little effort was made to uncover 'arcana' carried in adversarial attacks. In this work, we ask whether it is possible to infer data-agnostic victim model (VM) information (i.e., characteristics of the ML model or DNN used to generate adversarial attacks) from data-specific adversarial instances. We call this 'model parsing of adversarial attacks' - a task to uncover 'arcana' in terms of the concealed VM information in attacks. We approach model parsing via supervised learning, which correctly assigns classes of VM's model attributes (in terms of architecture type, kernel size, activation function, and weight sparsity) to an attack instance generated from this VM. We collect a dataset of adversarial attacks across 7 attack types generated from 135 victim models (configured by 5 architecture types, 3 kernel size setups, 3 activation function types, and 3 weight sparsity ratios). We show that a simple, supervised model parsing network (MPN) is able to infer VM attributes from unseen adversarial attacks if their attack settings are consistent with the training setting (i.e., in-distribution generalization assessment). We also provide extensive experiments to justify the feasibility of VM parsing from adversarial attacks, and the influence of training and evaluation factors in the parsing performance (e.g., generalization challenge raised in out-of-distribution evaluation). We further demonstrate how the proposed MPN can be used to uncover the source VM attributes from transfer attacks, and shed light on a potential connection between model parsing and attack transferability.
Although deep learning (DL) has gained much popularity for accelerated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), recent studies have shown that DL-based MRI reconstruction models could be oversensitive to tiny input perturbations (that are called 'adversarial perturbations'), which cause unstable, low-quality reconstructed images. This raises the question of how to design robust DL methods for MRI reconstruction. To address this problem, we propose a novel image reconstruction framework, termed SMOOTHED UNROLLING (SMUG), which advances a deep unrolling-based MRI reconstruction model using a randomized smoothing (RS)-based robust learning operation. RS, which improves the tolerance of a model against input noises, has been widely used in the design of adversarial defense for image classification. Yet, we find that the conventional design that applies RS to the entire DL process is ineffective for MRI reconstruction. We show that SMUG addresses the above issue by customizing the RS operation based on the unrolling architecture of the DL-based MRI reconstruction model. Compared to the vanilla RS approach and several variants of SMUG, we show that SMUG improves the robustness of MRI reconstruction with respect to a diverse set of perturbation sources, including perturbations to the input measurements, different measurement sampling rates, and different unrolling steps. Code for SMUG will be available at https://github.com/LGM70/SMUG.
Recent studies on backdoor attacks in model training have shown that polluting a small portion of training data is sufficient to produce incorrect manipulated predictions on poisoned test-time data while maintaining high clean accuracy in downstream tasks. The stealthiness of backdoor attacks has imposed tremendous defense challenges in today's machine learning paradigm. In this paper, we explore the potential of self-training via additional unlabeled data for mitigating backdoor attacks. We begin by making a pilot study to show that vanilla self-training is not effective in backdoor mitigation. Spurred by that, we propose to defend the backdoor attacks by leveraging strong but proper data augmentations in the self-training pseudo-labeling stage. We find that the new self-training regime help in defending against backdoor attacks to a great extent. Its effectiveness is demonstrated through experiments for different backdoor triggers on CIFAR-10 and a combination of CIFAR-10 with an additional unlabeled 500K TinyImages dataset. Finally, we explore the direction of combining self-supervised representation learning with self-training for further improvement in backdoor defense.
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 https://github.com/OPTML-Group/ILM-VP.
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.