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Agnostic Multi-Robust Learning using ERM

Saba Ahmadi · Avrim Blum · Omar Montasser · Kevin Stangl

MR1 & MR2 - Number 97
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Thu 2 May 8 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT


A fundamental problem in robust learning is asymmetry: a learner needs to correctly classify every one of exponentially-many perturbations that an adversary might make to a test-time natural example. In contrast, the attacker only needs to find one successful perturbation. Xiang et al.[2022] proposed an algorithm that in the context of patch attacks for image classification, reduces the effective number of perturbations from an exponential to a polynomial number of perturbations and learns using an ERM oracle. However, to achieve its guarantee, their algorithm requires the natural examples to be robustly realizable. This prompts the natural question; can we extend their approach to the non-robustly-realizable case where there is no classifier with zero robust error?Our first contribution is to answer this question affirmatively by reducing this problem to a setting in which an algorithm proposed by Feige et al. [2015] can be applied, and in the process extend their guarantees. Next, we extend our results to a multi-group setting and introduce a novel agnostic multi-robust learning problem where the goal is to learn a predictor that achieves low robust loss on a (potentially) rich collection of subgroups.

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