In June this year, my work on bit error robustness of deep neural networks (DNNs) was recognized as outstanding paper at the CVPR’21 Workshop on Adversarial Machine Learning in Real-World Computer Vision Systems and Online Challenges (AML-CV). Thus, as part of the workshop, I prepared a 15 minute talk highlighting how robustness against bit errors in DNN weights can improve the energy-efficiency of DNN accelerators. In this article, I want to share the recording.
Deep neural network (DNN) accelerators are popular due to reduced cost and energy compared to GPUs. To further reduce energy consumption, the operating voltage of the on-chip memory can be reduced. However, this injects random bit errors, directly impacting the (quantized) DNN weights. As result, improving DNN robustness against these bit errors can significantly improve energy efficiency. Similarly, these chips are subject to bit-level hardware- or software-based attacks. In this case, robustness against adversarial bit errors is required to improve security of DNN accelerators. Our paper presented in this article addresses both problems.
Recent work on robustness againt adversarial examples identified a severe problem in adversarial training: (robust) overfitting. That is, during training the training robustness continuously increases, while test robustness starts decreasing eventually. In this pre-print, we relate robust overfitting and good robust generalization to flatness around the found minimum in the robust loss landscape with respect to perturbations in the weights.
In this MLSys’21 paper, we consider the robustness of deep neural networks (DNN) against bit errors in their quantized weights. This is relevant in the context of DNN accelerators, i.e., specialized hardware for DNN inference: In order to reduce energy consumption, the accelerator’s memory may be operated at very low voltages. However, this induces exponentially increasing rates of bit errors that directly affect the DNN weights, reducing accuracy significantly. We propose a robust fixed-point quantization scheme, weight clipping as regularization during training and random bit error training to improve bit error robustness. This article shares my talk recorded for MLSys’21.
In April, I was invited to talk about my work on random or adversarial bit error robustness of (quantized) deep neural networks in Katharina Morik’s group at TU Dortmund. The talk is motivated by DNN accelerators, specialized chips for DNN inference. In order to reduce energy-efficiency, DNNs are required to be robust to random bit errors occurring in the quantized weights. Moreover, RowHammer-like attacks require robustness against adversarial bit errors, as well. While a recording is not available, this article shares the slides used for the presentation.
In January, I had the opportunity to interact with many other robustness researchers from academia and industry at the Robust Artificial Intelligence Workshop. As part of the workshop, organized by Airbus AI Research and TNO (Netherlands applied research organization), I also prepared a presentation talking about two of my PhD projects: confidence-calibrated adversarial training (CCAT) and bit error robustness of neural networks to enable low-energy neural network accelerators. In this article, I want to share the presentation; all other talks from the workshop can be found here.
In October this year, I was invited to talk at IBM’s FOCA workshop about my latest research on bit error robustness of (quantized) DNN weights. Here, the goal is to develop DNN accelerators capable to operating at low-voltage. However, lowering voltage induces bit errors in the accelerators’ memory. While such bit errors can be avoided through hardware mechanisms, such approaches are usually costly in terms of energy and area. Thus, training DNNs robust to such bit errors would enable low-voltage operation, reducing energy consumption, without the need for hardware techniques. In this 5-minute talk, I give a short overview.
In our ICML’20 paper, confidence-calibrated adversarial training (CCAT) addresses two problems of “regular” adversarial training. First, robustness against adversarial examples unseen during training is improved and second, clean accuracy is increased. CCAT biases the model towards predicting low-confidence on adversarial examples such that adversarial examples can be rejected by confidence thresholding. This article shares my talk on CCAT as recorded for ICML’20.
Recently, deep neural network (DNN) accelerators have received considerable attention due to reduced cost and energy compared to mainstream GPUs. In order to further reduce energy consumption, the included memory (storing weights and intermediate computations) is operated at low voltage. However, this causes bit errors in memory cells, directly impacting the stored (quantized) DNN weights. This results in a significant decrease in CNN accuracy. In this paper, we tackle the problem of DNN robustness against random bit errors. By using a robust fixed-point quantization, training with aggressive weight clipping as regularization and injecting random bit errors during training, we increase robustness significantly, allowing energy-efficient DNN accelerators.
The code for our paper on adversarial patch training on location-optimized adversarial patches is now available on GitHub. The repository includes a PyTorch implementation of our adversarial patch attack with location optimization as well as an adversarial training routine. The experiments on Cifar10 and GTSRB presented in the paper can easily be reproduced.