Interpolation for Robust Learning: Data Augmentation on Wasserstein Geodesics

ICML 2023(2023)

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We propose to study and promote the robustness of a model as per its performance on a continuous geodesic interpolation of subpopulations, e.g., a class of samples in a classification problem. Specifically, (1) we augment the data by finding the worst-case Wasserstein barycenter on the geodesic connecting subpopulation distributions. (2) we regularize the model for smoother performance on the continuous geodesic path connecting subpopulation distributions. (3) Additionally, we provide a theoretical guarantee of robustness improvement and investigate how the geodesic location and the sample size contribute, respectively. Experimental validations of the proposed strategy on four datasets including CIFAR-100 and ImageNet, establish the efficacy of our method, e.g., our method improves the baselines' certifiable robustness on CIFAR10 upto 7.7%, with 16.8% on empirical robustness on CIFAR-100. Our work provides a new perspective of model robustness through the lens of Wasserstein geodesic-based interpolation with a practical off-the-shelf strategy that can be combined with existing robust training methods.
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