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Defense Against Adversarial Attacks on No-Reference Image Quality Models with Gradient Norm Regularization

Yujia Liu · Chenxi Yang · Dingquan Li · Jianhao Ding · Tingting Jiang

Arch 4A-E Poster #137
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Fri 21 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT

Abstract: The task of No-Reference Image Quality Assessment (NR-IQA) is to estimate the quality score of an input image without additional information. NR-IQA models play a crucial role in the media industry, aiding in performance evaluation and optimization guidance. However, these models are found to be vulnerable to adversarial attacks, which introduce imperceptible perturbations to input images, resulting in significant changes in predicted scores. In this paper, we propose a defense method to mitigate the variability in predicted scores caused by small perturbations, thus enhancing the adversarial robustness of NR-IQA models. To be specific, we present theoretical evidence showing that the extent of score changes is related to the $\ell_1$ norm of the gradient of the predicted score with respect to the input image when adversarial perturbations are $\ell_\infty$-bounded. Building on this theoretical foundation, we propose a norm regularization training strategy aimed at reducing the $\ell_1$ norm of the gradient, thereby boosting the adversarial robustness of NR-IQA models. Experiments conducted on four NR-IQA baseline models demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy in reducing score changes in the presence of adversarial attacks. To the best of our knowledge, this work marks the first attempt to defend against adversarial attacks on NR-IQA models. Our study offers valuable insights into the adversarial robustness of NR-IQA models and provides a foundation for future research in this area.

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