APARATE: Adaptive Adversarial Patch for CNN-based Monocular Depth Estimation for Autonomous Navigation

by   Amira Guesmi, et al.

In recent years, monocular depth estimation (MDE) has witnessed a substantial performance improvement due to convolutional neural networks (CNNs). However, CNNs are vulnerable to adversarial attacks, which pose serious concerns for safety-critical and security-sensitive systems. Specifically, adversarial attacks can have catastrophic impact on MDE given its importance for scene understanding in applications like autonomous driving and robotic navigation. To physically assess the vulnerability of CNN-based depth prediction methods, recent work tries to design adversarial patches against MDE. However, these methods are not powerful enough to fully fool the vision system in a systemically threatening manner. In fact, their impact is partial and locally limited; they mislead the depth prediction of only the overlapping region with the input image regardless of the target object size, shape and location. In this paper, we investigate MDE vulnerability to adversarial patches in a more comprehensive manner. We propose a novel adaptive adversarial patch (APARATE) that is able to selectively jeopardize MDE by either corrupting the estimated distance, or simply manifesting an object as disappeared for the autonomous system. Specifically, APARATE is optimized to be shape and scale-aware, and its impact adapts to the target object instead of being limited to the immediate neighborhood. Our proposed patch achieves more than 14 meters mean depth estimation error, with 99% of the target region being affected. We believe this work highlights the threat of adversarial attacks in the context of MDE, and we hope it would alert the community to the real-life potential harm of this attack and motivate investigating more robust and adaptive defenses for autonomous robots.


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