JULY2021

As part of the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship 2019, I have a talk on the research produced throughout the academic year 2019/2020. This talk covers two exciting works on robustness: robustness against various types of adversarial examples using confidence-calibrated adversarial training (CCAT) and robustness against bit errors in the model’s quantized weights. The latter can be shown to be important to reduce the energy-consumption of accelerators for neural networks. In this article, I want to share the slides corresponding to the talk.

JULY2021

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.

JUNE2021

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.

MAY2021

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.

MAY2021

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.

APRIL2021

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.

JANUARY2021

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.

JANUARY2021

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.

JANUARY2021

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.

NOVEMBER2020

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.