You are caught stealing my winning lottery ticket! Making a lottery ticket claim its ownership

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Xuxi Chen, Tianlong Chen, Zhenyu Zhang, Zhangyang Wang

Abstract

Despite tremendous success in many application scenarios, the training and inference costs of using deep learning are also rapidly increasing over time. The lottery ticket hypothesis (LTH) emerges as a promising framework to leverage a special sparse subnetwork (i.e., $\textit{winning ticket}$) instead of a full model for both training and inference, that can lower both costs without sacrificing the performance. The main resource bottleneck of LTH is however the extraordinary cost to find the sparse mask of the winning ticket. That makes the found winning ticket become a valuable asset to the owners, highlighting the necessity of protecting its copyright. Our setting adds a new dimension to the recently soaring interest in protecting against the intellectual property (IP) infringement of deep models and verifying their ownerships, since they take owners' massive/unique resources to develop or train. While existing methods explored encrypted weights or predictions, we investigate a unique way to leverage sparse topological information to perform $\textit{lottery verification}$, by developing several graph-based signatures that can be embedded as credentials. By further combining trigger set-based methods, our proposal can work in both white-box and black-box verification scenarios. Through extensive experiments, we demonstrate the effectiveness of lottery verification in diverse models (ResNet-20, ResNet-18, ResNet-50) on CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100. Specifically, our verification is shown to be robust to removal attacks such as model fine-tuning and pruning, as well as several ambiguity attacks. Our codes are available at https://github.com/VITA-Group/NO-stealing-LTH.