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Towards the first adversarially robust neural network model on MNIST

The ABS model is a robust (w.r.t. Adversarial Examples) classifier on MNIST. For more details checkout our paper "Towards the first adversarially robust neural network model on MNIST [1].

This code provides the pre-trained ABS models and baselines such as: a vanilla CNN, a binary CNN, a Nearest Neighbour classifier, the model of Madry et al. [2] and our Analysis by Synthesis (ABS) model.

A random selection of adversarial examples for the different models can be seen below.

dist advs
Smallest adversarial examples for different architectures.

To generate adversarial examples and run the code agnostic of the deeplearning framework (e.g. tensorflow, torch), we use foolbox [3]. Foolbox support decision-, score- and gradient-based attacks. For gradient-based attacks, the gradients can either be calculated directly or estimated with the model scores and finite difference based methods. Additionally some model specific attacks (LatentDescent) are provided.

Lastly we also compute distal (also called trash) adversarial examples which are unrecognizabale images which are classified with high confidence.

dist advs
Distal adversarials which are classiefied as "1" with >90% certainty.

Loading the ABS Model

The model can be loaded and supports the standard pytorch API

from abs_models import models as mz        # model zoo
from abs_models import utils as u

model = mz.get_VAE(n_iter=50)              # ABS do n_iter=1 for speedup (but ess accurate)
batch, label = u.get_batch()               # returns torch.tensor, shape (batch_size, n_channels, nx, ny)
logits = model(u.n2t(batch))

For a complete example using foolbox see "scripts/attacks.ipynb" or "scripts/".

With the power of foolbox one can also run a code agnostic version of the model


Our code used pytorch and python3.6 and can be found here (this repo):

git clone

The dependencies are:

pip3 --no-cache-dir install \
        numpy \ \
        torchvision \
        foolbox \

Have fun :).

[1] Lukas Schott, Jonas Rauber, Matthias Bethge, and Wieland Brendel. Towards the first adversarially robust neural network model on mnist. International Conference for Learning Representations 2019, 2019. URL

[2] Aleksander Madry, Aleksandar Makelov, Ludwig Schmidt, Dimitris Tsipras, and Adrian Vladu. Towards deep learning models resistant to adversarial attacks. In International Conference on Learning Representations, 2018. URL

[3] Jonas Rauber and Wieland Brendel. Foolbox Documentation. Read the Docs, 2018. URL


Adversarially Robust Neural Network on MNIST.







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