Efficiently Computing Local Lipschitz Constants of Neural Networks via Bound Propagation

Zhouxing Shi, Yihan Wang, Huan Zhang, Zico Kolter, Cho Jui Hsieh

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


Lipschitz constants are connected to many properties of neural networks, such as robustness, fairness, and generalization. Existing methods for computing Lipschitz constants either produce relatively loose upper bounds or are limited to small networks. In this paper, we develop an efficient framework for computing the ℓ1 local Lipschitz constant of a neural network by tightly upper bounding the norm of Clarke Jacobian via linear bound propagation. We formulate the computation of local Lipschitz constants with a linear bound propagation process on a high-order backward graph induced by the chain rule of Clarke Jacobian. To enable linear bound propagation, we derive tight linear relaxations for specific nonlinearities in Clarke Jacobian. This formulate unifies existing ad-hoc approaches such as RecurJac, which can be seen as a special case of ours with weaker relaxations. The bound propagation framework also allows us to easily borrow the popular Branch-and-Bound (BaB) approach from neural network verification to further tighten Lipschitz constants. Experiments show that on tiny models, our method produces comparable bounds compared to exact methods that cannot scale to slightly larger models; on larger models, our method efficiently produces tighter results than existing relaxed or naive methods, and our method scales to much larger practical models that previous works could not handle. We also demonstrate an application on provable monotonicity analysis. Code is available at https://github.com/shizhouxing/Local-Lipschitz-Constants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 - 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
EditorsS. Koyejo, S. Mohamed, A. Agarwal, D. Belgrave, K. Cho, A. Oh
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871088
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2022Dec 9 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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