Classifier Robustness Enhancement Via Test-Time Transformation

Tsachi Blau, Roy Ganz, Chaim Baskin, Michael Elad, Alexander Bronstein

Research output: Working paperPreprint


It has been recently discovered that adversarially trained classifiers exhibit an intriguing property, referred to as perceptually aligned gradients (PAG). PAG implies that the gradients of such classifiers possess a meaningful structure, aligned with human perception. Adversarial training is currently the best-known way to achieve classification robustness under adversarial attacks. The PAG property, however, has yet to be leveraged for further improving classifier robustness. In this work, we introduce Classifier Robustness Enhancement Via Test-Time Transformation (TETRA) – a novel defense method that utilizes PAG, enhancing the performance of trained robust classifiers. Our method operates in two phases. First, it modifies the input image via a designated targeted adversarial attack into each of the dataset’s classes. Then, it classifies the input image based on the distance to each of the modified instances, with the assumption that the shortest distance relates to the true class. We show that the proposed method achieves state-of-the-art results and validate our claim through extensive experiments on a variety of defense methods, classifier architectures, and datasets. We also empirically demonstrate that TETRA can boost the accuracy of any differentiable adversarial training classifier across a variety of attacks, including ones unseen at training. Specifically, applying TETRA leads to substantial improvement of up to +23%, +20%, and +26% on CIFAR10, CIFAR100, and ImageNet, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2023


  • Computer Science - Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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