Adversarial Attacks On Multi-Agent Communication

James Tu, Tsunhsuan Wang, Jingkang Wang, Sivabalan Manivasagam, Mengye Ren, Raquel Urtasun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Growing at a fast pace, modern autonomous systems will soon be deployed at scale, opening up the possibility for cooperative multi-agent systems. Sharing information and distributing workloads allow autonomous agents to better perform tasks and increase computation efficiency. However, shared information can be modified to execute adversarial attacks on deep learning models that are widely employed in modern systems. Thus, we aim to study the robustness of such systems and focus on exploring adversarial attacks in a novel multi-agent setting where communication is done through sharing learned intermediate representations of neural networks. We observe that an indistinguishable adversarial message can severely degrade performance, but becomes weaker as the number of benign agents increases. Furthermore, we show that black-box transfer attacks are more difficult in this setting when compared to directly perturbing the inputs, as it is necessary to align the distribution of learned representations with domain adaptation. Our work studies robustness at the neural network level to contribute an additional layer of fault tolerance to modern security protocols for more secure multi-agent systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781665428125
StatePublished - 2021
Event18th IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2021 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: Oct 11 2021Oct 17 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision
ISSN (Print)1550-5499


Conference18th IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision, ICCV 2021
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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