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Abstract:We initiate the study of computability requirements for adversarially robust learning. Adversarially robust PAC-type learnability is by now an established field of research. However, the effects of computability requirements in PAC-type frameworks are only just starting to emerge. We introduce the problem of robust computable PAC (robust CPAC) learning and provide some simple sufficient conditions for this. We then show that learnability in this setup is not implied by the combination of its components: classes that are both CPAC and robustly PAC learnable are not necessarily robustly CPAC learnable. Furthermore, we show that the novel framework exhibits some surprising effects: for robust CPAC learnability it is not required that the robust loss is computably evaluable! Towards understanding characterizing properties, we introduce a novel dimension, the computable robust shattering dimension. We prove that its finiteness is necessary, but not sufficient for robust CPAC learnability. This might yield novel insights for the corresponding phenomenon in the context of robust PAC learnability, where insufficiency of the robust shattering dimension for learnability has been conjectured, but so far a resolution has remained elusive.

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Abstract:Strategic classification, i.e. classification under possible strategic manipulations of features, has received a lot of attention from both the machine learning and the game theory community. Most works focus on analysing properties of the optimal decision rule under such manipulations. In our work we take a learning theoretic perspective, focusing on the sample complexity needed to learn a good decision rule which is robust to strategic manipulation. We perform this analysis by introducing a novel loss function, the \emph{strategic manipulation loss}, which takes into account both the accuracy of the final decision rule and its vulnerability to manipulation. We analyse the sample complexity for a known graph of possible manipulations in terms of the complexity of the function class and the manipulation graph. Additionally, we initialize the study of learning under unknown manipulation capabilities of the involved agents. Using techniques from transfer learning theory, we define a similarity measure for manipulation graphs and show that learning outcomes are robust with respect to small changes in the manipulation graph. Lastly, we analyse the (sample complexity of) learning of the manipulation capability of agents with respect to this similarity measure, providing novel guarantees for strategic classification with respect to an unknown manipulation graph.

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Abstract:We study the problem of tolerant adversarial PAC learning with respect to metric perturbation sets. In adversarial PAC learning, an adversary is allowed to replace a test point $x$ with an arbitrary point in a closed ball of radius $r$ centered at $x$. In the tolerant version, the error of the learner is compared with the best achievable error with respect to a slightly larger perturbation radius $(1+\gamma)r$. For perturbation sets with doubling dimension $d$, we show that a variant of the natural ``perturb-and-smooth'' algorithm PAC learns any hypothesis class $\mathcal{H}$ with VC dimension $v$ in the $\gamma$-tolerant adversarial setting with $O\left(\frac{v(1+1/\gamma)^{O(d)}}{\varepsilon}\right)$ samples. This is the first such general guarantee with linear dependence on $v$ even for the special case where the domain is the real line and the perturbation sets are closed balls (intervals) of radius $r$. However, the proposed guarantees for the perturb-and-smooth algorithm currently only hold in the tolerant robust realizable setting and exhibit exponential dependence on $d$. We additionally propose an alternative learning method which yields sample complexity bounds with only linear dependence on the doubling dimension even in the more general agnostic case. This approach is based on sample compression.

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Abstract:The phenomenon of adversarial examples in deep learning models has caused substantial concern over their reliability. While many deep neural networks have shown impressive performance in terms of predictive accuracy, it has been shown that in many instances an imperceptible perturbation can falsely flip the network's prediction. Most research has then focused on developing defenses against adversarial attacks or learning under a worst-case adversarial loss. In this work, we take a step back and aim to provide a framework for determining whether a model's label change under small perturbation is justified (and when it is not). We carefully argue that adversarial robustness should be defined as a locally adaptive measure complying with the underlying distribution. We then suggest a definition for an adaptive robust loss, derive an empirical version of it, and develop a resulting data-augmentation framework. We prove that our adaptive data-augmentation maintains consistency of 1-nearest neighbor classification under deterministic labels and provide illustrative empirical evaluations.

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Abstract:We formally study the problem of classification under adversarial perturbations, both from the learner's perspective, and from the viewpoint of a third-party who aims at certifying the robustness of a given black-box classifier. We analyze a PAC-type framework of semi-supervised learning and identify possibility and impossibility results for proper learning of VC-classes in this setting. We further introduce and study a new setting of black-box certification under limited query budget. We analyze this for various classes of predictors and types of perturbation. We also consider the viewpoint of a black-box adversary that aims at finding adversarial examples, showing that the existence of an adversary with polynomial query complexity implies the existence of a robust learner with small sample complexity.

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Authors:Christina Göpfert, Shai Ben-David, Olivier Bousquet, Sylvain Gelly, Ilya Tolstikhin, Ruth Urner

Abstract:In semi-supervised classification, one is given access both to labeled and unlabeled data. As unlabeled data is typically cheaper to acquire than labeled data, this setup becomes advantageous as soon as one can exploit the unlabeled data in order to produce a better classifier than with labeled data alone. However, the conditions under which such an improvement is possible are not fully understood yet. Our analysis focuses on improvements in the minimax learning rate in terms of the number of labeled examples (with the number of unlabeled examples being allowed to depend on the number of labeled ones). We argue that for such improvements to be realistic and indisputable, certain specific conditions should be satisfied and previous analyses have failed to meet those conditions. We then demonstrate examples where these conditions can be met, in particular showing rate changes from $1/\sqrt{\ell}$ to $e^{-c\ell}$ and from $1/\sqrt{\ell}$ to $1/\ell$. These results improve our understanding of what is and isn't possible in semi-supervised learning.

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Abstract:We propose a pool-based non-parametric active learning algorithm for general metric spaces, called MArgin Regularized Metric Active Nearest Neighbor (MARMANN), which outputs a nearest-neighbor classifier. We give prediction error guarantees that depend on the noisy-margin properties of the input sample, and are competitive with those obtained by previously proposed passive learners. We prove that the label complexity of MARMANN is significantly lower than that of any passive learner with similar error guarantees. MARMANN is based on a generalized sample compression scheme, and a new label-efficient active model-selection procedure.

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Abstract:We study the learnability of linear separators in $\Re^d$ in the presence of bounded (a.k.a Massart) noise. This is a realistic generalization of the random classification noise model, where the adversary can flip each example $x$ with probability $\eta(x) \leq \eta$. We provide the first polynomial time algorithm that can learn linear separators to arbitrarily small excess error in this noise model under the uniform distribution over the unit ball in $\Re^d$, for some constant value of $\eta$. While widely studied in the statistical learning theory community in the context of getting faster convergence rates, computationally efficient algorithms in this model had remained elusive. Our work provides the first evidence that one can indeed design algorithms achieving arbitrarily small excess error in polynomial time under this realistic noise model and thus opens up a new and exciting line of research. We additionally provide lower bounds showing that popular algorithms such as hinge loss minimization and averaging cannot lead to arbitrarily small excess error under Massart noise, even under the uniform distribution. Our work instead, makes use of a margin based technique developed in the context of active learning. As a result, our algorithm is also an active learning algorithm with label complexity that is only a logarithmic the desired excess error $\epsilon$.

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Abstract:A recent line of work, starting with Beigman and Vohra (2006) and Zadimoghaddam and Roth (2012), has addressed the problem of {\em learning} a utility function from revealed preference data. The goal here is to make use of past data describing the purchases of a utility maximizing agent when faced with certain prices and budget constraints in order to produce a hypothesis function that can accurately forecast the {\em future} behavior of the agent. In this work we advance this line of work by providing sample complexity guarantees and efficient algorithms for a number of important classes. By drawing a connection to recent advances in multi-class learning, we provide a computationally efficient algorithm with tight sample complexity guarantees ($\Theta(d/\epsilon)$ for the case of $d$ goods) for learning linear utility functions under a linear price model. This solves an open question in Zadimoghaddam and Roth (2012). Our technique yields numerous generalizations including the ability to learn other well-studied classes of utility functions, to deal with a misspecified model, and with non-linear prices.

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Abstract:We present a comprehensive study of the use of generative modeling approaches for Multiple-Instance Learning (MIL) problems. In MIL a learner receives training instances grouped together into bags with labels for the bags only (which might not be correct for the comprised instances). Our work was motivated by the task of facilitating the diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders using sets of motor unit potential trains (MUPTs) detected within a muscle which can be cast as a MIL problem. Our approach leads to a state-of-the-art solution to the problem of muscle classification. By introducing and analyzing generative models for MIL in a general framework and examining a variety of model structures and components, our work also serves as a methodological guide to modelling MIL tasks. We evaluate our proposed methods both on MUPT datasets and on the MUSK1 dataset, one of the most widely used benchmarks for MIL.

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