One-shot Neural Backdoor Erasing via Adversarial Weight Masking

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Shuwen Chai, Jinghui Chen


Recent studies show that despite achieving high accuracy on a number of real-world applications, deep neural networks (DNNs) can be backdoored: by injecting triggered data samples into the training dataset, the adversary can mislead the trained model into classifying any test data to the target class as long as the trigger pattern is presented. To nullify such backdoor threats, various methods have been proposed. Particularly, a line of research aims to purify the potentially compromised model. However, one major limitation of this line of work is the requirement to access sufficient original training data: the purifying performance is a lot worse when the available training data is limited. In this work, we propose Adversarial Weight Masking (AWM), a novel method capable of erasing the neural backdoors even in the one-shot setting. The key idea behind our method is to formulate this into a min-max optimization problem: first, adversarially recover the non-robust perturbation patterns and then (soft) mask the network weights that are sensitive to the recovered patterns. Comprehensive evaluations of several benchmark datasets suggest that AWM can largely improve the purifying effects over other state-of-the-art methods on various available training dataset sizes.