Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


BIRD: Generalizable Backdoor Detection and Removal for Deep Reinforcement Learning

Xuan Chen · Wenbo Guo · Wenbo Guo · Guanhong Tao · Xiangyu Zhang · Dawn Song

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1527
[ ]
[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Thu 14 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST


Backdoor attacks pose a severe threat to the supply chain management of deep reinforcement learning (DRL) policies. Despite initial defenses proposed in recent studies, these methods have very limited generalizability and scalability. To address this issue, we propose BIRD, a technique to detect and remove backdoors from a pretrained DRL policy in a clean environment without requiring any knowledge about the attack specifications and accessing its training process. By analyzing the unique properties and behaviors of backdoor attacks, we formulate trigger restoration as an optimization problem and design a novel metric to detect backdoored policies. We also design a finetuning method to remove the backdoor, while maintaining the agent's performance in the clean environment. We evaluate BIRD against three backdoor attacks in ten different single-agent or multi-agent environments. Our results verify the effectiveness, efficiency, and generalizability of BIRD, as well as its robustness to different attack variations and adaptions.

Chat is not available.