TextHacker: Learning based Hybrid Local Search Algorithm for Text Hard-label Adversarial Attack
Existing textual adversarial attacks usually utilize the gradient or prediction confidence to generate adversarial examples, making it hard to be deployed in real-world applications. To this end, we consider a rarely investigated but more rigorous setting, namely hard-label attack, in which the attacker can only access the prediction label. In particular, we find we can learn the importance of different words via the change on prediction label caused by word substitutions on the adversarial examples. Based on this observation, we propose a novel adversarial attack, termed Text Hard-label attacker (TextHacker). TextHacker randomly perturbs lots of words to craft an adversarial example. Then, TextHacker adopts a hybrid local search algorithm with the estimation of word importance from the attack history to minimize the adversarial perturbation. Extensive evaluations for text classification and textual entailment show that TextHacker significantly outperforms existing hard-label attacks regarding the attack performance as well as adversary quality.
- Pub Date:
- January 2022
- Computer Science - Computation and Language;
- Computer Science - Machine Learning
- Accepted by EMNLP 2022 Findings, Code is available at https://github.com/JHL-HUST/TextHacker