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Robustness of machine learning models is critical for security related applications, where real-world adversaries are uniquely focused on evading neural network based detectors. Prior work mainly focus on crafting adversarial examples (AEs) with small uniform norm-bounded perturbations across features to maintain the requirement of imperceptibility. However, uniform perturbations do not result in realistic AEs in domains such as malware, finance, and social networks. For these types of applications, features typically have some semantically meaningful dependencies. The key idea of our proposed approach is to enable non-uniform perturbations that can adequately represent these feature dependencies during adversarial training. We propose using characteristics of the empirical data distribution, both on correlations between the features and the importance of the features themselves. Using experimental datasets for malware classification, credit risk prediction, and spam detection, we show that our approach is more robust to real-world attacks. Finally, we present robustness certification utilizing non-uniform perturbation bounds, and show that non-uniform bounds achieve better certification.

We consider the problem of online learning in an episodic Markov decision process, where the reward function is allowed to change between episodes in an adversarial manner and the learner only observes the rewards associated with its actions. We assume that rewards and the transition function can be represented as linear functions in terms of a known low-dimensional feature map, which allows us to consider the setting where the state space is arbitrarily large. We also assume that the learner has a perfect knowledge of the MDP dynamics. Our main contribution is developing an algorithm whose expected regret after $T$ episodes is bounded by $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(\sqrt{dHT})$, where $H$ is the number of steps in each episode and $d$ is the dimensionality of the feature map.

In many sequential decision making applications, the change of decision would bring an additional cost, such as the wear-and-tear cost associated with changing server status. To control the switching cost, we introduce the problem of online convex optimization with continuous switching constraint, where the goal is to achieve a small regret given a budget on the \emph{overall} switching cost. We first investigate the hardness of the problem, and provide a lower bound of order $\Omega(\sqrt{T})$ when the switching cost budget $S=\Omega(\sqrt{T})$, and $\Omega(\min\{\frac{T}{S},T\})$ when $S=O(\sqrt{T})$, where $T$ is the time horizon. The essential idea is to carefully design an adaptive adversary, who can adjust the loss function according to the cumulative switching cost of the player incurred so far based on the orthogonal technique. We then develop a simple gradient-based algorithm which enjoys the minimax optimal regret bound. Finally, we show that, for strongly convex functions, the regret bound can be improved to $O(\log T)$ for $S=\Omega(\log T)$, and $O(\min\{T/\exp(S)+S,T\})$ for $S=O(\log T)$.

To deal with changing environments, a new performance measure—adaptive regret, defined as the maximum static regret over any interval, was proposed in online learning. Under the setting of online convex optimization, several algorithms have been successfully developed to minimize the adaptive regret. However, existing algorithms lack universality in the sense that they can only handle one type of convex functions and need apriori knowledge of parameters. By contrast, there exist universal algorithms, such as MetaGrad, that attain optimal static regret for multiple types of convex functions simultaneously. Along this line of research, this paper presents the first universal algorithm for minimizing the adaptive regret of convex functions. Specifically, we borrow the idea of maintaining multiple learning rates in MetaGrad to handle the uncertainty of functions, and utilize the technique of sleeping experts to capture changing environments. In this way, our algorithm automatically adapts to the property of functions (convex, exponentially concave, or strongly convex), as well as the nature of environments (stationary or changing). As a by product, it also allows the type of functions to switch between rounds.

Federated learning, which shares the weights of the neural network across clients, is gaining attention in the healthcare sector as it enables training on a large corpus of decentralized data while maintaining data privacy. For example, this enables neural network training for COVID-19 diagnosis on chest X-ray (CXR) images without collecting patient CXR data across multiple hospitals. Unfortunately, the exchange of the weights quickly consumes the network bandwidth if highly expressive network architecture is employed. So-called split learning partially solves this problem by dividing a neural network into a client and a server part, so that the client part of the network takes up less extensive computation resources and bandwidth. However, it is not clear how to find the optimal split without sacrificing the overall network performance. To amalgamate these methods and thereby maximize their distinct strengths, here we show that the Vision Transformer, a recently developed deep learning architecture with straightforward decomposable configuration, is ideally suitable for split learning without sacrificing performance. Even under the non-independent and identically distributed data distribution which emulates a real collaboration between hospitals using CXR datasets from multiple sources, the proposed framework was able to attain performance comparable to data-centralized training. In addition, the proposed framework along with heterogeneous multi-task clients also improves individual task performances including the diagnosis of COVID-19, eliminating the need for sharing large weights with innumerable parameters. Our results affirm the suitability of Transformer for collaborative learning in medical imaging and pave the way forward for future real-world implementations.

There is an increasing need for effective active learning algorithms that are compatible with deep neural networks. This paper motivates and revisits a classic, Fisher-based active selection objective, and proposes BAIT, a practical, tractable, and high-performing algorithm that makes it viable for use with neural models. BAIT draws inspiration from the theoretical analysis of maximum likelihood estimators (MLE) for parametric models. It selects batches of samples by optimizing a bound on the MLE error in terms of the Fisher information, which we show can be implemented efficiently at scale by exploiting linear-algebraic structure especially amenable to execution on modern hardware. Our experiments demonstrate that BAIT outperforms the previous state of the art on both classification and regression problems, and is flexible enough to be used with a variety of model architectures.

The ability to synthesize realistic and diverse indoor furniture layouts automatically or based on partial input, unlocks many applications, from better interactive 3D tools to data synthesis for training and simulation. In this paper, we present ATISS, a novel autoregressive transformer architecture for creating diverse and plausible synthetic indoor environments, given only the room type and its floor plan. In contrast to prior work, which poses scene synthesis as sequence generation, our model generates rooms as unordered sets of objects. We argue that this formulation is more natural, as it makes ATISS generally useful beyond fully automatic room layout synthesis. For example, the same trained model can be used in interactive applications for general scene completion, partial room re-arrangement with any objects specified by the user, as well as object suggestions for any partial room. To enable this, our model leverages the permutation equivariance of the transformer when conditioning on the partial scene, and is trained to be permutation-invariant across object orderings. Our model is trained end-to-end as an autoregressive generative model using only labeled 3D bounding boxes as supervision. Evaluations on four room types in the 3D-FRONT dataset demonstrate that our model consistently generates plausible room layouts that are more realistic than existing methods.In addition, it has fewer parameters, is simpler to implement and train and runs up to 8 times faster than existing methods.

State-of-the-art Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have limited scalability with respect to the graph and model sizes. On large graphs, increasing the model depth often means exponential expansion of the scope (i.e., receptive field). Beyond just a few layers, two fundamental challenges emerge: 1. degraded expressivity due to oversmoothing, and 2. expensive computation due to neighborhood explosion. We propose a design principle to decouple the depth and scope of GNNs – to generate representation of a target entity (i.e., a node or an edge), we first extract a localized subgraph as the bounded-size scope, and then apply a GNN of arbitrary depth on top of the subgraph. A properly extracted subgraph consists of a small number of critical neighbors, while excluding irrelevant ones. The GNN, no matter how deep it is, smooths the local neighborhood into informative representation rather than oversmoothing the global graph into “white noise”. Theoretically, decoupling improves the GNN expressive power from the perspectives of graph signal processing (GCN), function approximation (GraphSAGE) and topological learning (GIN). Empirically, on seven graphs (with up to 110M nodes) and six backbone GNN architectures, our design achieves significant accuracy improvement with orders of magnitude reduction in computation and hardware cost.

For video recognition task, a global representation summarizing the whole contents of the video snippets plays an important role for the final performance. However, existing video architectures usually generate it by using a simple, global average pooling (GAP) method, which has limited ability to capture complex dynamics of videos. For image recognition task, there exist evidences showing that covariance pooling has stronger representation ability than GAP. Unfortunately, such plain covariance pooling used in image recognition is an orderless representative, which cannot model spatio-temporal structure inherent in videos. Therefore, this paper proposes a Temporal-attentive Covariance Pooling (TCP), inserted at the end of deep architectures, to produce powerful video representations. Specifically, our TCP first develops a temporal attention module to adaptively calibrate spatio-temporal features for the succeeding covariance pooling, approximatively producing attentive covariance representations. Then, a temporal covariance pooling performs temporal pooling of the attentive covariance representations to characterize both intra-frame correlations and inter-frame cross-correlations of the calibrated features. As such, the proposed TCP can capture complex temporal dynamics. Finally, a fast matrix power normalization is introduced to exploit geometry of covariance representations. Note that our TCP is model-agnostic and can be flexibly integrated into any video architectures, resulting in TCPNet for effective video recognition. The extensive experiments on six benchmarks (e.g., Kinetics, Something-Something V1 and Charades) using various video architectures show our TCPNet is clearly superior to its counterparts, while having strong generalization ability. The source code is publicly available.

Implementations of the exponential mechanism in differential privacy often require sampling from intractable distributions. When approximate procedures like Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) are used, the end result incurs costs to both privacy and accuracy. Existing work has examined these effects asymptotically, but implementable finite sample results are needed in practice so that users can specify privacy budgets in advance and implement samplers with exact privacy guarantees. In this paper, we use tools from ergodic theory and perfect simulation to design exact finite runtime sampling algorithms for the exponential mechanism by introducing an intermediate modified target distribution using artificial atoms. We propose an additional modification of this sampling algorithm that maintains its $\epsilon$-DP guarantee and has improved runtime at the cost of some utility. We then compare these methods in scenarios where we can explicitly calculate a $\delta$ cost (as in $(\epsilon, \delta)$-DP) incurred when using standard MCMC techniques. Much as there is a well known trade-off between privacy and utility, we demonstrate that there is also a trade-off between privacy guarantees and runtime.

While federated learning (FL) allows efficient model training with local data at edge devices, among major issues still to be resolved are: slow devices known as stragglers and malicious attacks launched by adversaries. While the presence of both of these issues raises serious concerns in practical FL systems, no known schemes or combinations of schemes effectively address them at the same time. We propose Sageflow, staleness-aware grouping with entropy-based filtering and loss-weighted averaging, to handle both stragglers and adversaries simultaneously. Model grouping and weighting according to staleness (arrival delay) provides robustness against stragglers, while entropy-based filtering and loss-weighted averaging, working in a highly complementary fashion at each grouping stage, counter a wide range of adversary attacks. A theoretical bound is established to provide key insights into the convergence behavior of Sageflow. Extensive experimental results show that Sageflow outperforms various existing methods aiming to handle stragglers/adversaries.

Deep Reinforcement Learning (RL) is successful in solving many complex Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) problems. However, agents often face unanticipated environmental changes after deployment in the real world. These changes are often spurious and unrelated to the underlying problem, such as background shifts for visual input agents. Unfortunately, deep RL policies are usually sensitive to these changes and fail to act robustly against them. This resembles the problem of domain generalization in supervised learning. In this work, we study this problem for goal-conditioned RL agents. We propose a theoretical framework in the Block MDP setting that characterizes the generalizability of goal-conditioned policies to new environments. Under this framework, we develop a practical method PA-SkewFit that enhances domain generalization. The empirical evaluation shows that our goal-conditioned RL agent can perform well in various unseen test environments, improving by 50\% over baselines.

This paper studies offline Imitation Learning (IL) where an agent learns to imitate an expert demonstrator without additional online environment interactions. Instead, the learner is presented with a static offline dataset of state-action-next state triples from a potentially less proficient behavior policy. We introduce Model-based IL from Offline data (MILO): an algorithmic framework that utilizes the static dataset to solve the offline IL problem efficiently both in theory and in practice. In theory, even if the behavior policy is highly sub-optimal compared to the expert, we show that as long as the data from the behavior policy provides sufficient coverage on the expert state-action traces (and with no necessity for a global coverage over the entire state-action space), MILO can provably combat the covariate shift issue in IL. Complementing our theory results, we also demonstrate that a practical implementation of our approach mitigates covariate shift on benchmark MuJoCo continuous control tasks. We demonstrate that with behavior policies whose performances are less than half of that of the expert, MILO still successfully imitates with an extremely low number of expert state-action pairs while traditional offline IL methods such as behavior cloning (BC) fail completely. Source code is provided at https://github.com/jdchang1/milo.

The worst-case training principle that minimizes the maximal adversarial loss, also known as adversarial training (AT), has shown to be a state-of-the-art approach for enhancing adversarial robustness. Nevertheless, min-max optimization beyond the purpose of AT has not been rigorously explored in the adversarial context. In this paper, we show how a general notion of min-max optimization over multiple domains can be leveraged to the design of different types of adversarial attacks. In particular, given a set of risk sources, minimizing the worst-case attack loss can be reformulated as a min-max problem by introducing domain weights that are maximized over the probability simplex of the domain set. We showcase this unified framework in three attack generation problems -- attacking model ensembles, devising universal perturbation under multiple inputs, and crafting attacks resilient to data transformations. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our approach leads to substantial attack improvement over the existing heuristic strategies as well as robustness improvement over state-of-the-art defense methods against multiple perturbation types. Furthermore, we find that the self-adjusted domain weights learned from min-max optimization can provide a holistic tool to explain the difficulty level of attack across domains.

In this work, we consider the optimization formulation for symmetric tensor decomposition recently introduced in the Subspace Power Method (SPM) of Kileel and Pereira. Unlike popular alternative functionals for tensor decomposition, the SPM objective function has the desirable properties that its maximal value is known in advance, and its global optima are exactly the rank-1 components of the tensor when the input is sufficiently low-rank. We analyze the non-convex optimization landscape associated with the SPM objective. Our analysis accounts for working with noisy tensors. We derive quantitative bounds such that any second-order critical point with SPM objective value exceeding the bound must equal a tensor component in the noiseless case, and must approximate a tensor component in the noisy case. For decomposing tensors of size $D^{\times m}$, we obtain a near-global guarantee up to rank $\widetilde{o}(D^{\lfloor m/2 \rfloor})$ under a random tensor model, and a global guarantee up to rank $\mathcal{O}(D)$ assuming deterministic frame conditions. This implies that SPM with suitable initialization is a provable, efficient, robust algorithm for low-rank symmetric tensor decomposition. We conclude with numerics that show a practical preferability for using the SPM functional over a more established counterpart.

We develop a method to generate prediction intervals that have a user-specified coverage level across all regions of feature-space, a property called conditional coverage. A typical approach to this task is to estimate the conditional quantiles with quantile regression---it is well-known that this leads to correct coverage in the large-sample limit, although it may not be accurate in finite samples. We find in experiments that traditional quantile regression can have poor conditional coverage. To remedy this, we modify the loss function to promote independence between the size of the intervals and the indicator of a miscoverage event. For the true conditional quantiles, these two quantities are independent (orthogonal), so the modified loss function continues to be valid. Moreover, we empirically show that the modified loss function leads to improved conditional coverage, as evaluated by several metrics. We also introduce two new metrics that check conditional coverage by looking at the strength of the dependence between the interval size and the indicator of miscoverage.

The vulnerability of Deep Neural Networks to adversarial attacks has spurred immense interest towards improving their robustness. However, present state-of-the-art adversarial defenses involve the use of 10-step adversaries during training, which renders them computationally infeasible for application to large-scale datasets. While the recent single-step defenses show promising direction, their robustness is not on par with multi-step training methods. In this work, we bridge this performance gap by introducing a novel Nuclear-Norm regularizer on network predictions to enforce function smoothing in the vicinity of data samples. While prior works consider each data sample independently, the proposed regularizer uses the joint statistics of adversarial samples across a training minibatch to enhance optimization during both attack generation and training, obtaining state-of-the-art results amongst efficient defenses. We achieve further gains by incorporating exponential averaging of network weights over training iterations. We finally introduce a Hybrid training approach that combines the effectiveness of a two-step variant of the proposed defense with the efficiency of a single-step defense. We demonstrate superior results when compared to multi-step defenses such as TRADES and PGD-AT as well, at a significantly lower computational cost.

Various non-trivial spaces are becoming popular for embedding structured data such as graphs, texts, or images. Following spherical and hyperbolic spaces, more general product spaces have been proposed. However, searching for the best configuration of a product space is a resource-intensive procedure, which reduces the practical applicability of the idea. We generalize the concept of product space and introduce an overlapping space that does not have the configuration search problem. The main idea is to allow subsets of coordinates to be shared between spaces of different types (Euclidean, hyperbolic, spherical). As a result, we often need fewer coordinates to store the objects. Additionally, we propose an optimization algorithm that automatically learns the optimal configuration. Our experiments confirm that overlapping spaces outperform the competitors in graph embedding tasks with different evaluation metrics. We also perform an empirical analysis in a realistic information retrieval setup, where we compare all spaces by incorporating them into DSSM. In this case, the proposed overlapping space consistently achieves nearly optimal results without any configuration tuning. This allows for reducing training time, which can be essential in large-scale applications.

Current theoretical results on optimization trajectories of neural networks trained by gradient descent typically have the form of rigorous but potentially loose bounds on the loss values. In the present work we take a different approach and show that the learning trajectory of a wide network in a lazy training regime can be characterized by an explicit asymptotic at large training times. Specifically, the leading term in the asymptotic expansion of the loss behaves as a power law $L(t) \sim C t^{-\xi}$ with exponent $\xi$ expressed only through the data dimension, the smoothness of the activation function, and the class of function being approximated. Our results are based on spectral analysis of the integral operator representing the linearized evolution of a large network trained on the expected loss. Importantly, the techniques we employ do not require a specific form of the data distribution, for example Gaussian, thus making our findings sufficiently universal.

We study whether and how can we model a joint distribution $p(x,z)$ using two conditional models $p(x|z)$ and $q(z|x)$ that form a cycle. This is motivated by the observation that deep generative models, in addition to a likelihood model $p(x|z)$, often also use an inference model $q(z|x)$ for extracting representation, but they rely on a usually uninformative prior distribution $p(z)$ to define a joint distribution, which may render problems like posterior collapse and manifold mismatch. To explore the possibility to model a joint distribution using only $p(x|z)$ and $q(z|x)$, we study their compatibility and determinacy, corresponding to the existence and uniqueness of a joint distribution whose conditional distributions coincide with them. We develop a general theory for operable equivalence criteria for compatibility, and sufficient conditions for determinacy. Based on the theory, we propose a novel generative modeling framework CyGen that only uses the two cyclic conditional models. We develop methods to achieve compatibility and determinacy, and to use the conditional models to fit and generate data. With the prior constraint removed, CyGen better fits data and captures more representative features, supported by both synthetic and real-world experiments.

A growing trend for value-based reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms is to capture more information than scalar value functions in the value network. One of the most well-known methods in this branch is distributional RL, which models return distribution instead of scalar value. In another line of work, hybrid reward architectures (HRA) in RL have studied to model source-specific value functions for each source of reward, which is also shown to be beneficial in performance. To fully inherit the benefits of distributional RL and hybrid reward architectures, we introduce Multi-Dimensional Distributional DQN (MD3QN), which extends distributional RL to model the joint return distribution from multiple reward sources. As a by-product of joint distribution modeling, MD3QN can capture not only the randomness in returns for each source of reward, but also the rich reward correlation between the randomness of different sources. We prove the convergence for the joint distributional Bellman operator and build our empirical algorithm by minimizing the Maximum Mean Discrepancy between joint return distribution and its Bellman target. In experiments, our method accurately models the joint return distribution in environments with richly correlated reward functions, and outperforms previous RL methods utilizing multi-dimensional reward functions in the control setting.

Neural Transducer (e.g., RNN-T) has been widely used in automatic speech recognition (ASR) due to its capabilities of efficiently modeling monotonic alignments between input and output sequences and naturally supporting streaming inputs. Considering that monotonic alignments are also critical to text to speech (TTS) synthesis and streaming TTS is also an important application scenario, in this work, we explore the possibility of applying Transducer to TTS and more. However, it is challenging because it is difficult to trade off the emission (continuous mel-spectrogram prediction) probability and transition (ASR Transducer predicts blank token to indicate transition to next input) probability when calculating the output probability lattice in Transducer, and it is not easy to learn the alignments between text and speech through the output probability lattice. We propose SpeechTransducer (Speech-T for short), a Transformer based Transducer model that 1) uses a new forward algorithm to separate the transition prediction from the continuous mel-spectrogram prediction when calculating the output probability lattice, and uses a diagonal constraint in the probability lattice to help the alignment learning; 2) supports both full-sentence or streaming TTS by adjusting the look-ahead context; and 3) further supports both TTS and ASR together for the first time, which enjoys several advantages including fewer parameters as well as streaming synthesis and recognition in a single model. Experiments on LJSpeech datasets demonstrate that Speech-T 1) is more robust than the attention based autoregressive TTS model due to its inherent monotonic alignments between text and speech; 2) naturally supports streaming TTS with good voice quality; and 3) enjoys the benefit of joint modeling TTS and ASR in a single network.

Offline reinforcement learning (RL) tasks require the agent to learn from a pre-collected dataset with no further interactions with the environment. Despite the potential to surpass the behavioral policies, RL-based methods are generally impractical due to the training instability and bootstrapping the extrapolation errors, which always require careful hyperparameter tuning via online evaluation. In contrast, offline imitation learning (IL) has no such issues since it learns the policy directly without estimating the value function by bootstrapping. However, IL is usually limited in the capability of the behavioral policy and tends to learn a mediocre behavior from the dataset collected by the mixture of policies. In this paper, we aim to take advantage of IL but mitigate such a drawback. Observing that behavior cloning is able to imitate neighboring policies with less data, we propose \textit{Curriculum Offline Imitation Learning (COIL)}, which utilizes an experience picking strategy to make the agent imitate from adaptive neighboring policies with a higher return, and improves the current policy along curriculum stages. On continuous control benchmarks, we compare COIL against both imitation-based methods and RL-based methods, showing that COIL not only avoids just learning a mediocre behavior on mixed datasets but is also even competitive with state-of-the-art offline RL methods.

Proteins are the main machinery of life and protein functions are largely determined by their 3D structures. The measurement of the pairwise proximity between amino acids of a protein, known as inter-residue contact map, well characterizes the structural information of a protein. Protein contact prediction (PCP) is an essential building block of many protein structure related applications. The prevalent approach to contact prediction is based on estimating the inter-residue contacts using hand-crafted coevolutionary features derived from multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). To mitigate the information loss caused by hand-crafted features, some recently proposed methods try to learn residue co-evolutions directly from MSAs. These methods generally derive coevolutionary features by aggregating the learned residue representations from individual sequences with equal weights, which is inconsistent with the premise that residue co-evolutions are a reflection of collective covariation patterns of numerous homologous proteins. Moreover, non-homologous residues and gaps commonly exist in MSAs. By aggregating features from all homologs equally, the non-homologous information may cause misestimation of the residue co-evolutions. To overcome these issues, we propose an attention-based architecture, Co-evolution Transformer (CoT), for PCP. CoT jointly considers the information from all homologous sequences in the MSA to better capture global coevolutionary patterns. To mitigate the influence of the non-homologous information, CoT selectively aggregates the features from different homologs by assigning smaller weights to non-homologous sequences or residue pairs. Extensive experiments on two rigorous benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of CoT. In particular, CoT achieves a $51.6\%$ top-L long-range precision score for the Free Modeling (FM) domains on the CASP14 benchmark, which outperforms the winner group of CASP14 contact prediction challenge by $9.8\%$.

We present a High-Resolution Transformer (HRFormer) that learns high-resolution representations for dense prediction tasks, in contrast to the original Vision Transformer that produces low-resolution representations and has high memory and computational cost. We take advantage of the multi-resolution parallel design introduced in high-resolution convolutional networks (HRNet [45]), along with local-window self-attention that performs self-attention over small non-overlapping image windows [21], for improving the memory and computation efficiency. In addition, we introduce a convolution into the FFN to exchange information across the disconnected image windows. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the HighResolution Transformer on both human pose estimation and semantic segmentation tasks, e.g., HRFormer outperforms Swin transformer [27] by 1.3 AP on COCO pose estimation with 50% fewer parameters and 30% fewer FLOPs. Code is available at: https://github.com/HRNet/HRFormer