We consider the problem of tracking multiple, unknown, and time-varying numbers of objects using a distributed network of heterogeneous sensors. In an effort to derive a formulation for practical settings, we consider limited and unknown sensor field-of-views (FoVs), sensors with limited local computational resources and communication channel capacity. The resulting distributed multi-object tracking algorithm involves solving an NP-hard multidimensional assignment problem either optimally for small-size problems or sub-optimally for general practical problems. For general problems, we propose an efficient distributed multi-object tracking algorithm that performs track-to-track fusion using a clustering-based analysis of the state space transformed into a density space to mitigate the complexity of the assignment problem. The proposed algorithm can more efficiently group local track estimates for fusion than existing approaches. To ensure we achieve globally consistent identities for tracks across a network of nodes as objects move between FoVs, we develop a graph-based algorithm to achieve label consensus and minimise track segmentation. Numerical experiments with a synthetic and a real-world trajectory dataset demonstrate that our proposed method is significantly more computationally efficient than state-of-the-art solutions, achieving similar tracking accuracy and bandwidth requirements but with improved label consistency.
Today, the most widespread, widely applicable technology for gathering data relies on experienced scientists armed with handheld radio telemetry equipment to locate low-power radio transmitters attached to wildlife from the ground. Although aerial robots can transform labor-intensive conservation tasks, the realization of autonomous systems for tackling task complexities under real-world conditions remains a challenge. We developed ConservationBots-small aerial robots for tracking multiple, dynamic, radio-tagged wildlife. The aerial robot achieves robust localization performance and fast task completion times -- significant for energy-limited aerial systems while avoiding close encounters with potential, counter-productive disturbances to wildlife. Our approach overcomes the technical and practical problems posed by combining a lightweight sensor with new concepts: i) planning to determine both trajectory and measurement actions guided by an information-theoretic objective, which allows the robot to strategically select near-instantaneous range-only measurements to achieve faster localization, and time-consuming sensor rotation actions to acquire bearing measurements and achieve robust tracking performance; ii) a bearing detector more robust to noise and iii) a tracking algorithm formulation robust to missed and false detections experienced in real-world conditions. We conducted extensive studies: simulations built upon complex signal propagation over high-resolution elevation data on diverse geographical terrains; field testing; studies with wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons; nocturnal, vulnerable species dwelling in underground warrens) and tracking comparisons with a highly experienced biologist to validate the effectiveness of our aerial robot and demonstrate the significant advantages over the manual method.
We present a new algorithm to learn a deep neural network model robust against adversarial attacks. Previous algorithms demonstrate an adversarially trained Bayesian Neural Network (BNN) provides improved robustness. We recognize the adversarial learning approach for approximating the multi-modal posterior distribution of a Bayesian model can lead to mode collapse; consequently, the model's achievements in robustness and performance are sub-optimal. Instead, we first propose preventing mode collapse to better approximate the multi-modal posterior distribution. Second, based on the intuition that a robust model should ignore perturbations and only consider the informative content of the input, we conceptualize and formulate an information gain objective to measure and force the information learned from both benign and adversarial training instances to be similar. Importantly. we prove and demonstrate that minimizing the information gain objective allows the adversarial risk to approach the conventional empirical risk. We believe our efforts provide a step toward a basis for a principled method of adversarially training BNNs. Our model demonstrate significantly improved robustness--up to 20%--compared with adversarial training and Adv-BNN under PGD attacks with 0.035 distortion on both CIFAR-10 and STL-10 datasets.
* Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine
Learning, PMLR 162:5309-5323, 2022 * Published at ICML 2022
Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved tremendous success in many graph mining tasks benefitting from the message passing strategy that fuses the local structure and node features for better graph representation learning. Despite the success of GNNs, and similar to other types of deep neural networks, GNNs are found to be vulnerable to unnoticeable perturbations on both graph structure and node features. Many adversarial attacks have been proposed to disclose the fragility of GNNs under different perturbation strategies to create adversarial examples. However, vulnerability of GNNs to successful backdoor attacks was only shown recently. In this paper, we disclose the TRAP attack, a Transferable GRAPh backdoor attack. The core attack principle is to poison the training dataset with perturbation-based triggers that can lead to an effective and transferable backdoor attack. The perturbation trigger for a graph is generated by performing the perturbation actions on the graph structure via a gradient based score matrix from a surrogate model. Compared with prior works, TRAP attack is different in several ways: i) it exploits a surrogate Graph Convolutional Network (GCN) model to generate perturbation triggers for a blackbox based backdoor attack; ii) it generates sample-specific perturbation triggers which do not have a fixed pattern; and iii) the attack transfers, for the first time in the context of GNNs, to different GNN models when trained with the forged poisoned training dataset. Through extensive evaluations on four real-world datasets, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the TRAP attack to build transferable backdoors in four different popular GNNs using four real-world datasets.
* Accepted by the 25th International Symposium on Research in Attacks,
Intrusions, and Defenses
Despite our best efforts, deep learning models remain highly vulnerable to even tiny adversarial perturbations applied to the inputs. The ability to extract information from solely the output of a machine learning model to craft adversarial perturbations to black-box models is a practical threat against real-world systems, such as autonomous cars or machine learning models exposed as a service (MLaaS). Of particular interest are sparse attacks. The realization of sparse attacks in black-box models demonstrates that machine learning models are more vulnerable than we believe. Because these attacks aim to minimize the number of perturbed pixels measured by l_0 norm-required to mislead a model by solely observing the decision (the predicted label) returned to a model query; the so-called decision-based attack setting. But, such an attack leads to an NP-hard optimization problem. We develop an evolution-based algorithm-SparseEvo-for the problem and evaluate against both convolutional deep neural networks and vision transformers. Notably, vision transformers are yet to be investigated under a decision-based attack setting. SparseEvo requires significantly fewer model queries than the state-of-the-art sparse attack Pointwise for both untargeted and targeted attacks. The attack algorithm, although conceptually simple, is also competitive with only a limited query budget against the state-of-the-art gradient-based whitebox attacks in standard computer vision tasks such as ImageNet. Importantly, the query efficient SparseEvo, along with decision-based attacks, in general, raise new questions regarding the safety of deployed systems and poses new directions to study and understand the robustness of machine learning models.
* Published as a conference paper at the International Conference on
Learning Representations (ICLR 2022)
Machine learning models are critically susceptible to evasion attacks from adversarial examples. Generally, adversarial examples, modified inputs deceptively similar to the original input, are constructed under whitebox settings by adversaries with full access to the model. However, recent attacks have shown a remarkable reduction in query numbers to craft adversarial examples using blackbox attacks. Particularly, alarming is the ability to exploit the classification decision from the access interface of a trained model provided by a growing number of Machine Learning as a Service providers including Google, Microsoft, IBM and used by a plethora of applications incorporating these models. The ability of an adversary to exploit only the predicted label from a model to craft adversarial examples is distinguished as a decision-based attack. In our study, we first deep dive into recent state-of-the-art decision-based attacks in ICLR and SP to highlight the costly nature of discovering low distortion adversarial employing gradient estimation methods. We develop a robust query efficient attack capable of avoiding entrapment in a local minimum and misdirection from noisy gradients seen in gradient estimation methods. The attack method we propose, RamBoAttack, exploits the notion of Randomized Block Coordinate Descent to explore the hidden classifier manifold, targeting perturbations to manipulate only localized input features to address the issues of gradient estimation methods. Importantly, the RamBoAttack is more robust to the different sample inputs available to an adversary and the targeted class. Overall, for a given target class, RamBoAttack is demonstrated to be more robust at achieving a lower distortion within a given query budget. We curate our extensive results using the large-scale high-resolution ImageNet dataset and open-source our attack, test samples and artifacts on GitHub.
Deep neural networks are vulnerable to attacks from adversarial inputs and, more recently, Trojans to misguide or hijack the decision of the model. We expose the existence of an intriguing class of bounded adversarial examples -- Universal NaTuralistic adversarial paTches -- we call TnTs, by exploring the superset of the bounded adversarial example space and the natural input space within generative adversarial networks. Now, an adversary can arm themselves with a patch that is naturalistic, less malicious-looking, physically realizable, highly effective -- achieving high attack success rates, and universal. A TnT is universal because any input image captured with a TnT in the scene will: i) misguide a network (untargeted attack); or ii) force the network to make a malicious decision (targeted attack). Interestingly, now, an adversarial patch attacker has the potential to exert a greater level of control -- the ability to choose a location independent, natural-looking patch as a trigger in contrast to being constrained to noisy perturbations -- an ability is thus far shown to be only possible with Trojan attack methods needing to interfere with the model building processes to embed a backdoor at the risk discovery; but, still realize a patch deployable in the physical world. Through extensive experiments on the large-scale visual classification task, ImageNet with evaluations across its entire validation set of 50,000 images, we demonstrate the realistic threat from TnTs and the robustness of the attack. We show a generalization of the attack to create patches achieving higher attack success rates than existing state-of-the-art methods. Our results show the generalizability of the attack to different visual classification tasks (CIFAR-10, GTSRB, PubFig) and multiple state-of-the-art deep neural networks such as WideResnet50, Inception-V3 and VGG-16.
Human activity recognition (HAR) is an important research field in ubiquitous computing where the acquisition of large-scale labeled sensor data is tedious, labor-intensive and time consuming. State-of-the-art unsupervised remedies investigated to alleviate the burdens of data annotations in HAR mainly explore training autoencoder frameworks. In this paper: we explore generative adversarial network (GAN) paradigms to learn unsupervised feature representations from wearable sensor data; and design a new GAN framework-Geometrically-Guided GAN or Guided-GAN-for the task. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our formulation, we evaluate the features learned by Guided-GAN in an unsupervised manner on three downstream classification benchmarks. Our results demonstrate Guided-GAN to outperform existing unsupervised approaches whilst closely approaching the performance with fully supervised learned representations. The proposed approach paves the way to bridge the gap between unsupervised and supervised human activity recognition whilst helping to reduce the cost of human data annotation tasks.
We consider the challenging problem of tracking multiple objects using a distributed network of sensors. In the pragmatic settings of a limited field of view (FoV) sensors, computing and communication resources of nodes, we develop a novel distributed multi-target algorithm that fuses local multi-object states instead of local multi-object densities. This algorithm uses a novel label consensus approach that reduces label inconsistency, caused by movements of objects from one node's limited FoV to another. To accomplish this, we formalise the concept of label consistency and determine a sufficient condition to achieve it. The proposed algorithm is i) fast and requires significantly less processing time than fusion methods using multi-object filtering densities, and ii) achieves better tracking accuracy by considering tracking errors measured by the Optimal Sub-Pattern Assignment (OSPA) metric over several scans rather than a single scan. Numerical experiments demonstrate the real-time capability of our proposed solution, in computational efficiency and accuracy compared to state-of-the-art solutions in challenging scenarios.
* 13 pages, 10 figures. Submitted to the IEEE Transactions on Signal
Wearables are fundamental to improving our understanding of human activities, especially for an increasing number of healthcare applications from rehabilitation to fine-grained gait analysis. Although our collective know-how to solve Human Activity Recognition (HAR) problems with wearables has progressed immensely with end-to-end deep learning paradigms, several fundamental opportunities remain overlooked. We rigorously explore these new opportunities to learn enriched and highly discriminating activity representations. We propose: i) learning to exploit the latent relationships between multi-channel sensor modalities and specific activities; ii) investigating the effectiveness of data-agnostic augmentation for multi-modal sensor data streams to regularize deep HAR models; and iii) incorporating a classification loss criterion to encourage minimal intra-class representation differences whilst maximising inter-class differences to achieve more discriminative features. Our contributions achieves new state-of-the-art performance on four diverse activity recognition problem benchmarks with large margins -- with up to 6% relative margin improvement. We extensively validate the contributions from our design concepts through extensive experiments, including activity misalignment measures, ablation studies and insights shared through both quantitative and qualitative studies.