Do Perceptually Aligned Gradients Imply Robustness?

Roy Ganz, Bahjat Kawar, Michael Elad

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adversarially robust classifiers possess a trait that non-robust models do not - Perceptually Aligned Gradients (PAG). Their gradients with respect to the input align well with human perception. Several works have identified PAG as a byproduct of robust training, but none have considered it as a standalone phenomenon nor studied its own implications. In this work, we focus on this trait and test whether Perceptually Aligned Gradients imply Robustness. To this end, we develop a novel objective to directly promote PAG in training classifiers and examine whether models with such gradients are more robust to adversarial attacks. Extensive experiments on multiple datasets and architectures validate that models with aligned gradients exhibit significant robustness, exposing the surprising bidirectional connection between PAG and robustness. Lastly, we show that better gradient alignment leads to increased robustness and harness this observation to boost the robustness of existing adversarial training techniques. Our code is available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10628-10648
Number of pages21
JournalProceedings of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - 2023
Event40th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2023 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 202329 Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Statistics and Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'Do Perceptually Aligned Gradients Imply Robustness?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this