Present attack methods can make state-of-the-art classification systems based on deep neural networks mis-classify every adversarially modified test example. The design of general defense strategies against a wide range of such attacks still remains a challenging problem. In this paper, we draw inspiration from the fields of cybersecurity and multi-agent systems and propose to leverage the concept of Moving Target Defense (MTD) in designing a meta-defense for ‘boosting’ the robustness of an ensemble of deep neural networks (DNNs) for visual classification tasks against such adversarial attacks. To classify an input image at test time, a constituent network is randomly selected based on a mixed policy. To obtain this policy, we formulate the interaction between a Defender (who hosts the classification networks) and their (Legitimate and Malicious) users as a Bayesian Stackelberg Game (BSG). We empirically show that our approach MTDeep, reduces misclassification on perturbed images for various datasets such as MNIST, FashionMNIST, and ImageNet while maintaining high classification accuracy on legitimate test images. We then demonstrate that our framework, being the first meta-defense technique, can be used in conjunction with any existing defense mechanism to provide more resilience against adversarial attacks that can be afforded by these defense mechanisms alone. Lastly, to quantify the increase in robustness of an ensemble-based classification system when we use MTDeep, we analyze the properties of a set of DNNs and introduce the concept of differential immunity that formalizes the notion of attack transferability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDecision and Game Theory for Security - 10th International Conference, GameSec 2019, Proceedings
EditorsTansu Alpcan, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, John S. Baras, György Dán
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030324292
StatePublished - 2019
Event10th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2019 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: Oct 30 2019Nov 1 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11836 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference10th International Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security, GameSec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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