Characterizing the Optimal $0-1$ Loss for Multi-class Classification with a Test-time Attacker

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Sihui Dai, Wenxin Ding, Arjun Nitin Bhagoji, Daniel Cullina, Heather Zheng, Ben Zhao, Prateek Mittal


Finding classifiers robust to adversarial examples is critical for their safedeployment. Determining the robustness of the best possible classifier under agiven threat model for a fixed data distribution and comparing it to thatachieved by state-of-the-art training methods is thus an important diagnostictool. In this paper, we find achievable information-theoretic lower bounds onrobust loss in the presence of a test-time attacker for *multi-classclassifiers on any discrete dataset*. We provide a general framework for findingthe optimal $0-1$ loss that revolves around the construction of a conflicthypergraph from the data and adversarial constraints. The prohibitive cost ofthis formulation in practice leads us to formulate other variants of the attacker-classifiergame that more efficiently determine the range of the optimal loss. Ourvaluation shows, for the first time, an analysis of the gap to optimalrobustness for classifiers in the multi-class setting on benchmark datasets.