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Trading off Image Quality for Robustness is not Necessary with Regularized Deterministic Autoencoders

Amrutha Saseendran · Kathrin Skubch · Stefan Falkner · Margret Keuper

Hall J (level 1) #903

Keywords: [ Deterministic autoencoder ] [ Adversarial Robustness ] [ Generative Models ]


The susceptibility of Variational Autoencoders (VAEs) to adversarial attacks indicates the necessity to evaluate the robustness of the learned representations along with the generation performance. The vulnerability of VAEs has been attributed to the limitations associated with their variational formulation. Deterministic autoencoders could overcome the practical limitations associated with VAEs and offer a promising alternative for image generation applications. In this work, we propose an adversarially robust deterministic autoencoder with superior performance in terms of both generation and robustness of the learned representations. We introduce a regularization scheme to incorporate adversarially perturbed data points to the training pipeline without increasing the computational complexity or compromising the generation fidelity by leveraging a loss based on the two-point Kolmogorov–Smirnov test between representations. We conduct extensive experimental studies on popular image benchmark datasets to quantify the robustness of the proposed approach based on the adversarial attacks targeted at VAEs. Our empirical findings show that the proposed method achieves significant performance in both robustness and fidelity when compared to the robust VAE models.

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