Orals & Spotlights Track 20: Social/Adversarial Learning

Each Oral includes Q&A
Spotlights have joint Q&As


2020-12-09T06:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T09:00:00-08:00

Session chairs

Steven Wu, Miro Dudik



Chat is not available.


2020-12-09T06:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T06:15:00-08:00
1 - Oral: DVERGE: Diversifying Vulnerabilities for Enhanced Robust Generation of Ensembles
Huanrui Yang, Jingyang Zhang, Hongliang Dong, Nathan Inkawhich, Andrew Gardner, Andrew Touchet, Wesley Wilkes, Heath Berry, Helen Li
Recent research finds CNN models for image classification demonstrate overlapped adversarial vulnerabilities: adversarial attacks can mislead CNN models with small perturbations, which can effectively transfer between different models trained on the same dataset. Adversarial training, as a general robustness improvement technique, eliminates the vulnerability in a single model by forcing it to learn robust features. The process is hard, often requires models with large capacity, and suffers from significant loss on clean data accuracy. Alternatively, ensemble methods are proposed to induce sub-models with diverse outputs against a transfer adversarial example, making the ensemble robust against transfer attacks even if each sub-model is individually non-robust. Only small clean accuracy drop is observed in the process. However, previous ensemble training methods are not efficacious in inducing such diversity and thus ineffective on reaching robust ensemble. We propose DVERGE, which isolates the adversarial vulnerability in each sub-model by distilling non-robust features, and diversifies the adversarial vulnerability to induce diverse outputs against a transfer attack. The novel diversity metric and training procedure enables DVERGE to achieve higher robustness against transfer attacks comparing to previous ensemble methods, and enables the improved robustness when more sub-models are added to the ensemble. The code of this work is available at https://github.com/zjysteven/DVERGE.
2020-12-09T06:15:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T06:30:00-08:00
2 - Oral: Metric-Free Individual Fairness in Online Learning
Yahav Bechavod, Christopher Jung, Steven Wu
We study an online learning problem subject to the constraint of individual fairness, which requires that similar individuals are treated similarly. Unlike prior work on individual fairness, we do not assume the similarity measure among individuals is known, nor do we assume that such measure takes a certain parametric form. Instead, we leverage the existence of an auditor who detects fairness violations without enunciating the quantitative measure. In each round, the auditor examines the learner's decisions and attempts to identify a pair of individuals that are treated unfairly by the learner. We provide a general reduction framework that reduces online classification in our model to standard online classification, which allows us to leverage existing online learning algorithms to achieve sub-linear regret and number of fairness violations. Surprisingly, in the stochastic setting where the data are drawn independently from a distribution, we are also able to establish PAC-style fairness and accuracy generalization guarantees (Rothblum and Yona (2018)), despite only having access to a very restricted form of fairness feedback. Our fairness generalization bound qualitatively matches the uniform convergence bound of Rothblum and Yona (2018), while also providing a meaningful accuracy generalization guarantee. Our results resolve an open question by Gillen et al. (2018) by showing that online learning under an unknown individual fairness constraint is possible even without assuming a strong parametric form of the underlying similarity measure.
2020-12-09T06:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T06:45:00-08:00
3 - Oral: Fair regression via plug-in estimator and recalibration with statistical guarantees
Evgenii Chzhen, Christophe Denis, Mohamed Hebiri, Luca Oneto, Massimiliano Pontil
We study the problem of learning an optimal regression function subject to a fairness constraint. It requires that, conditionally on the sensitive feature, the distribution of the function output remains the same. This constraint naturally extends the notion of demographic parity, often used in classification, to the regression setting. We tackle this problem by leveraging on a proxy-discretized version, for which we derive an explicit expression of the optimal fair predictor. This result naturally suggests a two stage approach, in which we first estimate the (unconstrained) regression function from a set of labeled data and then we recalibrate it with another set of unlabeled data. The recalibration step can be efficiently performed via a smooth optimization. We derive rates of convergence of the proposed estimator to the optimal fair predictor both in terms of the risk and fairness constraint. Finally, we present numerical experiments illustrating that the proposed method is often superior or competitive with state-of-the-art methods.
2020-12-09T06:45:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:00:00-08:00
2020-12-09T07:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:10:00-08:00
5 - Spotlight: Explaining Naive Bayes and Other Linear Classifiers with Polynomial Time and Delay
Joao Marques-Silva, Thomas Gerspacher, Martin Cooper, Alexey Ignatiev, Nina Narodytska
Recent work proposed the computation of so-called PI-explanations of Naive Bayes Classifiers (NBCs). PI-explanations are subset-minimal sets of feature-value pairs that are sufficient for the prediction, and have been computed with state-of-the-art exact algorithms that are worst-case exponential in time and space. In contrast, we show that the computation of one PI-explanation for an NBC can be achieved in log-linear time, and that the same result also applies to the more general class of linear classifiers. Furthermore, we show that the enumeration of PI-explanations can be obtained with polynomial delay. Experimental results demonstrate the performance gains of the new algorithms when compared with earlier work. The experimental results also investigate ways to measure the quality of heuristic explanations.
2020-12-09T07:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:20:00-08:00
6 - Spotlight: Differentially-Private Federated Linear Bandits
Abhimanyu Dubey, Alex `Sandy' Pentland
The rapid proliferation of decentralized learning systems mandates the need for differentially-private cooperative learning. In this paper, we study this in context of the contextual linear bandit: we consider a collection of agents cooperating to solve a common contextual bandit, while ensuring that their communication remains private. For this problem, we devise FedUCB, a multiagent private algorithm for both centralized and decentralized (peer-to-peer) federated learning. We provide a rigorous technical analysis of its utility in terms of regret, improving several results in cooperative bandit learning, and provide rigorous privacy guarantees as well. Our algorithms provide competitive performance both in terms of pseudoregret bounds and empirical benchmark performance in various multi-agent settings.
2020-12-09T07:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:30:00-08:00
7 - Spotlight: Adversarial Training is a Form of Data-dependent Operator Norm Regularization
Kevin Roth, Yannic Kilcher, Thomas Hofmann
We establish a theoretical link between adversarial training and operator norm regularization for deep neural networks. Specifically, we prove that $l_p$-norm constrained projected gradient ascent based adversarial training with an $l_q$-norm loss on the logits of clean and perturbed inputs is equivalent to data-dependent (p, q) operator norm regularization. This fundamental connection confirms the long-standing argument that a network’s sensitivity to adversarial examples is tied to its spectral properties and hints at novel ways to robustify and defend against adversarial attacks. We provide extensive empirical evidence on state-of-the-art network architectures to support our theoretical results.
2020-12-09T07:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:40:00-08:00
8 - Spotlight: Prediction with Corrupted Expert Advice
Idan Amir, Idan Attias, Tomer Koren, Yishay Mansour, Roi Livni
We revisit the fundamental problem of prediction with expert advice, in a setting where the environment is benign and generates losses stochastically, but the feedback observed by the learner is subject to a moderate adversarial corruption. We prove that a variant of the classical Multiplicative Weights algorithm with decreasing step sizes achieves constant regret in this setting and performs optimally in a wide range of environments, regardless of the magnitude of the injected corruption. Our results reveal a surprising disparity between the often comparable Follow the Regularized Leader (FTRL) and Online Mirror Descent (OMD) frameworks: we show that for experts in the corrupted stochastic regime, the regret performance of OMD is in fact strictly inferior to that of FTRL.
2020-12-09T07:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T07:50:00-08:00
Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights
2020-12-09T07:50:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:00:00-08:00
10 - Spotlight: Guided Adversarial Attack for Evaluating and Enhancing Adversarial Defenses
Gaurang Sriramanan, Sravanti Addepalli, Arya Baburaj, Venkatesh Babu R
Advances in the development of adversarial attacks have been fundamental to the progress of adversarial defense research. Efficient and effective attacks are crucial for reliable evaluation of defenses, and also for developing robust models. Adversarial attacks are often generated by maximizing standard losses such as the cross-entropy loss or maximum-margin loss within a constraint set using Projected Gradient Descent (PGD). In this work, we introduce a relaxation term to the standard loss, that finds more suitable gradient-directions, increases attack efficacy and leads to more efficient adversarial training. We propose Guided Adversarial Margin Attack (GAMA), which utilizes function mapping of the clean image to guide the generation of adversaries, thereby resulting in stronger attacks. We evaluate our attack against multiple defenses and show improved performance when compared to existing attacks. Further, we propose Guided Adversarial Training (GAT), which achieves state-of-the-art performance amongst single-step defenses by utilizing the proposed relaxation term for both attack generation and training.
2020-12-09T08:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:10:00-08:00
11 - Spotlight: Towards Safe Policy Improvement for Non-Stationary MDPs
Yash Chandak, Scott Jordan, Georgios Theocharous, Martha White, Philip Thomas
Many real-world sequential decision-making problems involve critical systems with financial risks and human-life risks. While several works in the past have proposed methods that are safe for deployment, they assume that the underlying problem is stationary. However, many real-world problems of interest exhibit non-stationarity, and when stakes are high, the cost associated with a false stationarity assumption may be unacceptable. We take the first steps towards ensuring safety, with high confidence, for smoothly-varying non-stationary decision problems. Our proposed method extends a type of safe algorithm, called a Seldonian algorithm, through a synthesis of model-free reinforcement learning with time-series analysis. Safety is ensured using sequential hypothesis testing of a policy’s forecasted performance, and confidence intervals are obtained using wild bootstrap.
2020-12-09T08:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:20:00-08:00
12 - Spotlight: Robust Deep Reinforcement Learning against Adversarial Perturbations on State Observations
Huan Zhang, Hongge Chen, Chaowei Xiao, Bo Li, Mingyan Liu, Duane Boning, Cho-Jui Hsieh
A deep reinforcement learning (DRL) agent observes its states through observations, which may contain natural measurement errors or adversarial noises. Since the observations deviate from the true states, they can mislead the agent into making suboptimal actions. Several works have shown this vulnerability via adversarial attacks, but how to improve the robustness of DRL under this setting has not been well studied. We show that naively applying existing techniques on improving robustness for classification tasks, like adversarial training, are ineffective for many RL tasks. We propose the state-adversarial Markov decision process (SA-MDP) to study the fundamental properties of this problem, and develop a theoretically principled policy regularization which can be applied to a large family of DRL algorithms, including deep deterministic policy gradient (DDPG), proximal policy optimization (PPO) and deep Q networks (DQN), for both discrete and continuous action control problems. We significantly improve the robustness of DDPG, PPO and DQN agents under a suite of strong white box adversarial attacks, including two new attacks of our own. Additionally, we find that a robust policy noticeably improves DRL performance in a number of environments.
2020-12-09T08:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:30:00-08:00
13 - Spotlight: Algorithmic recourse under imperfect causal knowledge: a probabilistic approach
Amir Karimi, Julius von Kügelgen, Bernhard Schölkopf, Isabel Valera
Recent work has discussed the limitations of counterfactual explanations to recommend actions for algorithmic recourse, and argued for the need of taking causal relationships between features into consideration. Unfortunately, in practice, the true underlying structural causal model is generally unknown. In this work, we first show that it is impossible to guarantee recourse without access to the true structural equations. To address this limitation, we propose two probabilistic approaches to select optimal actions that achieve recourse with high probability given limited causal knowledge (e.g., only the causal graph). The first captures uncertainty over structural equations under additive Gaussian noise, and uses Bayesian model averaging to estimate the counterfactual distribution. The second removes any assumptions on the structural equations by instead computing the average effect of recourse actions on individuals similar to the person who seeks recourse, leading to a novel subpopulation-based interventional notion of recourse. We then derive a gradient-based procedure for selecting optimal recourse actions, and empirically show that the proposed approaches lead to more reliable recommendations under imperfect causal knowledge than non-probabilistic baselines.
2020-12-09T08:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:40:00-08:00
14 - Spotlight: Understanding Gradient Clipping in Private SGD: A Geometric Perspective
Xiangyi Chen, Steven Wu, Mingyi Hong
Deep learning models are increasingly popular in many machine learning applications where the training data may contain sensitive information. To provide formal and rigorous privacy guarantee, many learning systems now incorporate differential privacy by training their models with (differentially) private SGD. A key step in each private SGD update is gradient clipping that shrinks the gradient of an individual example whenever its l2 norm exceeds a certain threshold. We first demonstrate how gradient clipping can prevent SGD from converging to a stationary point. We then provide a theoretical analysis on private SGD with gradient clipping. Our analysis fully characterizes the clipping bias on the gradient norm, which can be upper bounded by the Wasserstein distance between the gradient distribution and a geometrically symmetric distribution. Our empirical evaluation further suggests that the gradient distributions along the trajectory of private SGD indeed exhibit such symmetric structure. Together, our results provide an explanation why private SGD with gradient clipping remains effective in practice despite its potential clipping bias. Finally, we develop a new perturbation-based technique that can provably correct the clipping bias even for instances with highly asymmetric gradient distributions.
2020-12-09T08:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T08:50:00-08:00
Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights
2020-12-09T08:50:00-08:00 - 2020-12-09T09:00:00-08:00