In March this year I finally submitted my PhD thesis and successfully defended in July. Now, more than 6 months later, my thesis is finally available in the university’s library. During my PhD, I worked on various topics surrounding robustness and uncertainty in deep learning, including adversarial robustness, robustness to bit errors, out-of-distribution detection and conformal prediction. In this article, I want to share my thesis and give an overview of its contents.
In July this year I finally defended my PhD which mainly focused on (adversarial) robustness and uncertainty estimation in deep learning. In my case, the defense consisted of a (public) 30 minute talk about my work, followed by questions from the thesis committee and audience. In this article, I want to share the slides and some lessons learned in preparing for my defense.
In October, I had the pleasure to present my recent work on adversarial robustness and flat minima at the math machine learning seminar of MPI MiS and UCLA organized by Guido Montúfar. The talk covers several aspects of my PhD research on adversarial robustness and robustness in terms of the model weights. This article shares abstract and recording of the talk.
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.
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.