Department of Mathematics

Applied Mathematics

  •  Mahdi Soltanolkotabi, University of Southern California
  •  Precise Tradeoffs for Adversarial Training
  •  04/08/2021
  •  2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
  •  Online (virtual meeting) (Virtual Meeting Link)
  •  Olga Turanova (

Despite breakthrough performance, modern learning models are known to be highly vulnerable to small adversarial perturbations in their inputs. While a wide variety of recent adversarial training methods have been effective at improving robustness to perturbed inputs (robust accuracy), often this benefit is accompanied by a decrease in accuracy on benign inputs (standard accuracy), leading to a tradeoff between often competing objectives. Complicating matters further, recent empirical evidence suggests that a variety of other factors (size and quality of training data, model size, etc.) affect this tradeoff in somewhat surprising ways. In this talk we will provide a precise and comprehensive understanding of the role of adversarial training in the context of linear regression with Gaussian features and binary classification in a mixture model. We precisely characterize the standard/robust accuracy and the corresponding tradeoff achieved by a contemporary mini-max adversarial training approach in a high-dimensional regime where the number of data points and the parameters of the model grow in proportion to each other. Our theory for adversarial training algorithms also facilitates the rigorous study of how a variety of factors (size and quality of training data, model overparametrization etc.) affect the tradeoff between these two competing accuracies.



Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science