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As distributed learning applications such as Federated Learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Edge Computing grow, it is critical to address the shortcomings of such technologies from a theoretical perspective. As an abstraction, we consider decentralized learning over a network of communicating clients or nodes and tackle two major challenges: data heterogeneity and adversarial robustness. We propose a decentralized minimax optimization method that employs two important modules: local updates and gradient tracking. Minimax optimization is the key tool to enable adversarial training for ensuring robustness. Having local updates is essential in Federated Learning (FL) applications to mitigate the communication bottleneck, and utilizing gradient tracking is essential to proving convergence in the case of data heterogeneity. We analyze the performance of the proposed algorithm, Dec-FedTrack, in the case of nonconvex-strongly concave minimax optimization, and prove that it converges a stationary point. We also conduct numerical experiments to support our theoretical findings.

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We have widely observed that neural networks are vulnerable to small additive perturbations to the input causing misclassification. In this paper, we focus on the $\ell_0$-bounded adversarial attacks, and aim to theoretically characterize the performance of adversarial training for an important class of truncated classifiers. Such classifiers are shown to have strong performance empirically, as well as theoretically in the Gaussian mixture model, in the $\ell_0$-adversarial setting. The main contribution of this paper is to prove a novel generalization bound for the binary classification setting with $\ell_0$-bounded adversarial perturbation that is distribution-independent. Deriving a generalization bound in this setting has two main challenges: (i) the truncated inner product which is highly non-linear; and (ii) maximization over the $\ell_0$ ball due to adversarial training is non-convex and highly non-smooth. To tackle these challenges, we develop new coding techniques for bounding the combinatorial dimension of the truncated hypothesis class.

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One of the most fundamental problems in machine learning is finding interpretable representations of the functions we learn. The Mobius transform is a useful tool for this because its coefficients correspond to unique importance scores on sets of input variables. The Mobius Transform is strongly related (and in some cases equivalent) to the concept of Shapley value, which is a widely used game-theoretic notion of importance. This work focuses on the (typical) regime where the fraction of non-zero Mobius coefficients (and thus interactions between inputs) is small compared to the set of all $2^n$ possible interactions between $n$ inputs. When there are $K = O(2^{n \delta})$ with $\delta \leq \frac{1}{3}$ non-zero coefficients chosen uniformly at random, our algorithm exactly recovers the Mobius transform in $O(Kn)$ samples and $O(Kn^2)$ time with vanishing error as $K \rightarrow \infty$, the first non-adaptive algorithm to do so. We also uncover a surprising connection between group testing and the Mobius transform. In the case where all interactions are between at most $t = \Theta(n^{\alpha})$ inputs, for $\alpha < 0.409$, we are able to leverage results from group testing to provide the first algorithm that computes the Mobius transform in $O(Kt\log n)$ sample complexity and $O(K\mathrm{poly}(n))$ time with vanishing error as $K \rightarrow \infty$. Finally, we present a robust version of this algorithm that achieves the same sample and time complexity under some assumptions, but with a factor depending on noise variance. Our work is deeply interdisciplinary, drawing from tools spanning across signal processing, algebra, information theory, learning theory and group testing to address this important problem at the forefront of machine learning.

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In Imitation Learning (IL), utilizing suboptimal and heterogeneous demonstrations presents a substantial challenge due to the varied nature of real-world data. However, standard IL algorithms consider these datasets as homogeneous, thereby inheriting the deficiencies of suboptimal demonstrators. Previous approaches to this issue typically rely on impractical assumptions like high-quality data subsets, confidence rankings, or explicit environmental knowledge. This paper introduces IRLEED, Inverse Reinforcement Learning by Estimating Expertise of Demonstrators, a novel framework that overcomes these hurdles without prior knowledge of demonstrator expertise. IRLEED enhances existing Inverse Reinforcement Learning (IRL) algorithms by combining a general model for demonstrator suboptimality to address reward bias and action variance, with a Maximum Entropy IRL framework to efficiently derive the optimal policy from diverse, suboptimal demonstrations. Experiments in both online and offline IL settings, with simulated and human-generated data, demonstrate IRLEED's adaptability and effectiveness, making it a versatile solution for learning from suboptimal demonstrations.

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Modern data aggregation often takes the form of a platform collecting data from a network of users. More than ever, these users are now requesting that the data they provide is protected with a guarantee of privacy. This has led to the study of optimal data acquisition frameworks, where the optimality criterion is typically the maximization of utility for the agent trying to acquire the data. This involves determining how to allocate payments to users for the purchase of their data at various privacy levels. The main goal of this paper is to characterize a fair amount to pay users for their data at a given privacy level. We propose an axiomatic definition of fairness, analogous to the celebrated Shapley value. Two concepts for fairness are introduced. The first treats the platform and users as members of a common coalition and provides a complete description of how to divide the utility among the platform and users. In the second concept, fairness is defined only among users, leading to a potential fairness-constrained mechanism design problem for the platform. We consider explicit examples involving private heterogeneous data and show how these notions of fairness can be applied. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first fairness concepts for data that explicitly consider privacy constraints.

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It is expected that autonomous vehicles(AVs) and heterogeneous human-driven vehicles(HVs) will coexist on the same road. The safety and reliability of AVs will depend on their social awareness and their ability to engage in complex social interactions in a socially accepted manner. However, AVs are still inefficient in terms of cooperating with HVs and struggle to understand and adapt to human behavior, which is particularly challenging in mixed autonomy. In a road shared by AVs and HVs, the social preferences or individual traits of HVs are unknown to the AVs and different from AVs, which are expected to follow a policy, HVs are particularly difficult to forecast since they do not necessarily follow a stationary policy. To address these challenges, we frame the mixed-autonomy problem as a multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) problem and propose an approach that allows AVs to learn the decision-making of HVs implicitly from experience, account for all vehicles' interests, and safely adapt to other traffic situations. In contrast with existing works, we quantify AVs' social preferences and propose a distributed reward structure that introduces altruism into their decision-making process, allowing the altruistic AVs to learn to establish coalitions and influence the behavior of HVs.

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Devising a fair classifier that does not discriminate against different groups is an important problem in machine learning. Although researchers have proposed various ways of defining group fairness, most of them only focused on the immediate fairness, ignoring the long-term impact of a fair classifier under the dynamic scenario where each individual can improve its feature over time. Such dynamic scenarios happen in real world, e.g., college admission and credit loaning, where each rejected sample makes effort to change its features to get accepted afterwards. In this dynamic setting, the long-term fairness should equalize the samples' feature distribution across different groups after the rejected samples make some effort to improve. In order to promote long-term fairness, we propose a new fairness notion called Equal Improvability (EI), which equalizes the potential acceptance rate of the rejected samples across different groups assuming a bounded level of effort will be spent by each rejected sample. We analyze the properties of EI and its connections with existing fairness notions. To find a classifier that satisfies the EI requirement, we propose and study three different approaches that solve EI-regularized optimization problems. Through experiments on both synthetic and real datasets, we demonstrate that the proposed EI-regularized algorithms encourage us to find a fair classifier in terms of EI. Finally, we provide experimental results on dynamic scenarios which highlight the advantages of our EI metric in achieving the long-term fairness. Codes are available in a GitHub repository, see https://github.com/guldoganozgur/ei_fairness.

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Federated learning is a distributed machine learning paradigm, which aims to train a model using the local data of many distributed clients. A key challenge in federated learning is that the data samples across the clients may not be identically distributed. To address this challenge, personalized federated learning with the goal of tailoring the learned model to the data distribution of every individual client has been proposed. In this paper, we focus on this problem and propose a novel personalized Federated Learning scheme based on Optimal Transport (FedOT) as a learning algorithm that learns the optimal transport maps for transferring data points to a common distribution as well as the prediction model under the applied transport map. To formulate the FedOT problem, we extend the standard optimal transport task between two probability distributions to multi-marginal optimal transport problems with the goal of transporting samples from multiple distributions to a common probability domain. We then leverage the results on multi-marginal optimal transport problems to formulate FedOT as a min-max optimization problem and analyze its generalization and optimization properties. We discuss the results of several numerical experiments to evaluate the performance of FedOT under heterogeneous data distributions in federated learning problems.

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Federated Learning is an emerging learning paradigm that allows training models from samples distributed across a large network of clients while respecting privacy and communication restrictions. Despite its success, federated learning faces several challenges related to its decentralized nature. In this work, we develop a novel algorithmic procedure with theoretical speedup guarantees that simultaneously handles two of these hurdles, namely (i) data heterogeneity, i.e., data distributions can vary substantially across clients, and (ii) system heterogeneity, i.e., the computational power of the clients could differ significantly. Our method relies on ideas from representation learning theory to find a global common representation using all clients' data and learn a user-specific set of parameters leading to a personalized solution for each client. Furthermore, our method mitigates the effects of stragglers by adaptively selecting clients based on their computational characteristics and statistical significance, thus achieving, for the first time, near optimal sample complexity and provable logarithmic speedup. Experimental results support our theoretical findings showing the superiority of our method over alternative personalized federated schemes in system and data heterogeneous environments.

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Adversarial examples have recently drawn considerable attention in the field of machine learning due to the fact that small perturbations in the data can result in major performance degradation. This phenomenon is usually modeled by a malicious adversary that can apply perturbations to the data in a constrained fashion, such as being bounded in a certain norm. In this paper, we study this problem when the adversary is constrained by the $\ell_0$ norm; i.e., it can perturb a certain number of coordinates in the input, but has no limit on how much it can perturb those coordinates. Due to the combinatorial nature of this setting, we need to go beyond the standard techniques in robust machine learning to address this problem. We consider a binary classification scenario where $d$ noisy data samples of the true label are provided to us after adversarial perturbations. We introduce a classification method which employs a nonlinear component called truncation, and show in an asymptotic scenario, as long as the adversary is restricted to perturb no more than $\sqrt{d}$ data samples, we can almost achieve the optimal classification error in the absence of the adversary, i.e. we can completely neutralize adversary's effect. Surprisingly, we observe a phase transition in the sense that using a converse argument, we show that if the adversary can perturb more than $\sqrt{d}$ coordinates, no classifier can do better than a random guess.

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