Adversarially Robust Representations

Post by Sicheng Zhu With the rapid development of deep learning and the explosive growth of unlabeled data, representation learning is becoming increasingly important. It has made impressive applications such as pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT and GPT-3). Popular as it is, representation learning raises concerns about the robustness of learned representations under adversarial settings. For example, how can we compare the robustness to different representations, and how can we build representations that enable robust downstream classifiers?

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Hybrid Batch Attacks at USENIX Security 2020

Here’s the video for Fnu Suya’s presentation on Hybrid Batch Attacks at USENIX Security 2020:


Download Video [mp4]

Blog Post
Paper: [PDF] [arXiv]

Pointwise Paraphrase Appraisal is Potentially Problematic

Hannah Chen presented her paper on Pointwise Paraphrase Appraisal is Potentially Problematic at the ACL 2020 Student Research Workshop: The prevailing approach for training and evaluating paraphrase identification models is constructed as a binary classification problem: the model is given a pair of sentences, and is judged by how accurately it classifies pairs as either paraphrases or non-paraphrases. This pointwise-based evaluation method does not match well the objective of most real world applications, so the goal of our work is to understand how models which perform well under pointwise evaluation may fail in practice and find better methods for evaluating paraphrase identification models.

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De-Naming the Blog

This blog was started in January 2008, a bit over eight years after I started as a professor at UVA and initiated the research group. It was named after Thomas Jefferson’s cipher wheel, which has long been (and remains) one of my favorite ways to introduce cryptography. Figuring out how to honor our history, including Jefferson’s founding of the University, and appreciate his ideals and enormous contributions, while confronting the reality of Jefferson as a slave owner and abuser, will be a challenge and responsibility for people above my administrative rank.

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Oakland Test-of-Time Awards

I chaired the committee to select Test-of-Time Awards for the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy symposia from 1995-2006, which were presented at the Opening Section of the 41st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy.

NeurIPS 2019

Here's a video of Xiao Zhang's presentation at NeurIPS 2019:
https://slideslive.com/38921718/track-2-session-1 (starting at 26:50)

See this post for info on the paper.

Here are a few pictures from NeurIPS 2019 (by Sicheng Zhu and Mohammad Mahmoody):






USENIX Security 2020: Hybrid Batch Attacks

New: Video Presentation Finding Black-box Adversarial Examples with Limited Queries Black-box attacks generate adversarial examples (AEs) against deep neural networks with only API access to the victim model. Existing black-box attacks can be grouped into two main categories: Transfer Attacks use white-box attacks on local models to find candidate adversarial examples that transfer to the target model. Optimization Attacks use queries to the target model and apply optimization techniques to search for adversarial examples.

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NeurIPS 2019: Empirically Measuring Concentration

Xiao Zhang will present our work (with Saeed Mahloujifar and Mohamood Mahmoody) as a spotlight at NeurIPS 2019, Vancouver, 10 December 2019. Recent theoretical results, starting with Gilmer et al.‘s Adversarial Spheres (2018), show that if inputs are drawn from a concentrated metric probability space, then adversarial examples with small perturbation are inevitable.c The key insight from this line of research is that concentration of measure gives lower bound on adversarial risk for a large collection of classifiers (e.

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White House Visit

I had a chance to visit the White House for a Roundtable on Accelerating Responsible Sharing of Federal Data. The meeting was held under “Chatham House Rules”, so I won’t mention the other participants here. The meeting was held in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. We entered through the visitor’s side entrance. After a security gate (where you put your phone in a lockbox, so no pictures inside) with a TV blaring Fox News, there is a pleasant lobby for waiting, and then an entrance right into the Roosevelt Room.

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Jobs for Humans, 2029-2059

I was honored to particilate in a panel at an event on Adult Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence that was run by The Great Courses as a fundraiser for the Academy of Hope, an adult public charter school in Washington, D.C. I spoke first, following a few introductory talks, and was followed by Nicole Smith and Ellen Scully-Russ, and a keynote from Dexter Manley, Super Bowl winner with the Washington Redskins.

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