Inference of causal structures from observational data is a key component of causal machine learning; in practice, this data may be incompletely observed. Prior work has demonstrated that adversarial perturbations of completely observed training data may be used to force the learning of inaccurate causal structural models (SCMs). However, when the data can be audited for correctness (e.g., it is crytographically signed by its source), this adversarial mechanism is invalidated. This work introduces a novel attack methodology wherein the adversary deceptively omits a portion of the true training data to bias the learned causal structures in a desired manner. Theoretically sound attack mechanisms are derived for the case of arbitrary SCMs, and a sample-efficient learning-based heuristic is given for Gaussian SCMs. Experimental validation of these approaches on real and synthetic data sets demonstrates the effectiveness of adversarial missingness attacks at deceiving popular causal structure learning algorithms.
One limitation of the most statistical/machine learning-based variable selection approaches is their inability to control the false selections. A recently introduced framework, model-x knockoffs, provides that to a wide range of models but lacks support for datasets with missing values. In this work, we discuss ways of preserving the theoretical guarantees of the model-x framework in the missing data setting. First, we prove that posterior sampled imputation allows reusing existing knockoff samplers in the presence of missing values. Second, we show that sampling knockoffs only for the observed variables and applying univariate imputation also preserves the false selection guarantees. Third, for the special case of latent variable models, we demonstrate how jointly imputing and sampling knockoffs can reduce the computational complexity. We have verified the theoretical findings with two different exploratory variable distributions and investigated how the missing data pattern, amount of correlation, the number of observations, and missing values affected the statistical power.
Adversarial examples pose a threat to deep neural network models in a variety of scenarios, from settings where the adversary has complete knowledge of the model in a "white box" setting and to the opposite in a "black box" setting. In this paper, we explore the use of output randomization as a defense against attacks in both the black box and white box models and propose two defenses. In the first defense, we propose output randomization at test time to thwart finite difference attacks in black box settings. Since this type of attack relies on repeated queries to the model to estimate gradients, we investigate the use of randomization to thwart such adversaries from successfully creating adversarial examples. We empirically show that this defense can limit the success rate of a black box adversary using the Zeroth Order Optimization attack to 0%. Secondly, we propose output randomization training as a defense against white box adversaries. Unlike prior approaches that use randomization, our defense does not require its use at test time, eliminating the Backward Pass Differentiable Approximation attack, which was shown to be effective against other randomization defenses. Additionally, this defense has low overhead and is easily implemented, allowing it to be used together with other defenses across various model architectures. We evaluate output randomization training against the Projected Gradient Descent attacker and show that the defense can reduce the PGD attack's success rate down to 12% when using cross-entropy loss.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a prominent way to measure the brain activity for studying epilepsy, thereby helping in predicting seizures. Seizure prediction is an active research area with many deep learning based approaches dominating the recent literature for solving this problem. But these models require a considerable number of patient-specific seizures to be recorded for extracting the preictal and interictal EEG data for training a classifier. The increase in sensitivity and specificity for seizure prediction using the machine learning models is noteworthy. However, the need for a significant number of patient-specific seizures and periodic retraining of the model because of non-stationary EEG creates difficulties for designing practical device for a patient. To mitigate this process, we propose a Siamese neural network based seizure prediction method that takes a wavelet transformed EEG tensor as an input with convolutional neural network (CNN) as the base network for detecting change-points in EEG. Compared to the solutions in the literature, which utilize days of EEG recordings, our method only needs one seizure for training which translates to less than ten minutes of preictal and interictal data while still getting comparable results to models which utilize multiple seizures for seizure prediction.
With the increased deployment of IoT and edge devices into commercial and user networks, these devices have become a new threat vector for malware authors. It is imperative to protect these devices as they become more prevalent in commercial and personal networks. However, due to their limited computational power and storage space, especially in the case of battery-powered devices, it is infeasible to deploy state-of-the-art malware detectors onto these systems. In this work, we propose using and extracting features from Markov matrices constructed from opcode traces as a low cost feature for unobfuscated and obfuscated malware detection. We empirically show that our approach maintains a high detection rate while consuming less power than similar work.
Machine learning based solutions have been very helpful in solving problems that deal with immense amounts of data, such as malware detection and classification. However, deep neural networks have been found to be vulnerable to adversarial examples, or inputs that have been purposefully perturbed to result in an incorrect label. Researchers have shown that this vulnerability can be exploited to create evasive malware samples. However, many proposed attacks do not generate an executable and instead generate a feature vector. To fully understand the impact of adversarial examples on malware detection, we review practical attacks against malware classifiers that generate executable adversarial malware examples. We also discuss current challenges in this area of research, as well as suggestions for improvement and future research directions.
We investigate methods of microstructure representation for the purpose of predicting processing condition from microstructure image data. A binary alloy (uranium-molybdenum) that is currently under development as a nuclear fuel was studied for the purpose of developing an improved machine learning approach to image recognition, characterization, and building predictive capabilities linking microstructure to processing conditions. Here, we test different microstructure representations and evaluate model performance based on the F1 score. A F1 score of 95.1% was achieved for distinguishing between micrographs corresponding to ten different thermo-mechanical material processing conditions. We find that our newly developed microstructure representation describes image data well, and the traditional approach of utilizing area fractions of different phases is insufficient for distinguishing between multiple classes using a relatively small, imbalanced original data set of 272 images. To explore the applicability of generative methods for supplementing such limited data sets, generative adversarial networks were trained to generate artificial microstructure images. Two different generative networks were trained and tested to assess performance. Challenges and best practices associated with applying machine learning to limited microstructure image data sets is also discussed. Our work has implications for quantitative microstructure analysis, and development of microstructure-processing relationships in limited data sets typical of metallurgical process design studies.
Micrograph quantification is an essential component of several materials science studies. Machine learning methods, in particular convolutional neural networks, have previously demonstrated performance in image recognition tasks across several disciplines (e.g. materials science, medical imaging, facial recognition). Here, we apply these well-established methods to develop an approach to microstructure quantification for kinetic modeling of a discontinuous precipitation reaction in a case study on the uranium-molybdenum system. Prediction of material processing history based on image data (classification), calculation of area fraction of phases present in the micrographs (segmentation), and kinetic modeling from segmentation results were performed. Results indicate that convolutional neural networks represent microstructure image data well, and segmentation using the k-means clustering algorithm yields results that agree well with manually annotated images. Classification accuracies of original and segmented images are both 94\% for a 5-class classification problem. Kinetic modeling results agree well with previously reported data using manual thresholding. The image quantification and kinetic modeling approach developed and presented here aims to reduce researcher bias introduced into the characterization process, and allows for leveraging information in limited image data sets.
In this work, we propose new objective functions to train deep neural network based density ratio estimators and apply it to a change point detection problem. Existing methods use linear combinations of kernels to approximate the density ratio function by solving a convex constrained minimization problem. Approximating the density ratio function using a deep neural network requires defining a suitable objective function to optimize. We formulate and compare objective functions that can be minimized using gradient descent and show that the network can effectively learn to approximate the density ratio function. Using our deep density ratio estimation objective function results in better performance on a seizure detection task than other (kernel and neural network based) density ratio estimation methods and other window-based change point detection algorithms. We also show that the method can still support other neural network architectures, such as convolutional networks.
Adversarial examples pose a threat to deep neural network models in a variety of scenarios, from settings where the adversary has complete knowledge of the model and to the opposite "black box" setting. Black box attacks are particularly threatening as the adversary only needs access to the input and output of the model. Defending against black box adversarial example generation attacks is paramount as currently proposed defenses are not effective. Since these types of attacks rely on repeated queries to the model to estimate gradients over input dimensions, we investigate the use of randomization to thwart such adversaries from successfully creating adversarial examples. Randomization applied to the output of the deep neural network model has the potential to confuse potential attackers, however this introduces a tradeoff between accuracy and robustness. We show that for certain types of randomization, we can bound the probability of introducing errors by carefully setting distributional parameters. For the particular case of finite difference black box attacks, we quantify the error introduced by the defense in the finite difference estimate of the gradient. Lastly, we show empirically that the defense can thwart two adaptive black box adversarial attack algorithms.