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Learning composite concepts, such as \textquotedbl red car\textquotedbl , from individual examples -- like a white car representing the concept of \textquotedbl car\textquotedbl{} and a red strawberry representing the concept of \textquotedbl red\textquotedbl -- is inherently challenging. This paper introduces a novel method called Composite Concept Extractor (CoCE), which leverages techniques from traditional backdoor attacks to learn these composite concepts in a zero-shot setting, requiring only examples of individual concepts. By repurposing the trigger-based model backdooring mechanism, we create a strategic distortion in the manifold of the target object (e.g., \textquotedbl car\textquotedbl ) induced by example objects with the target property (e.g., \textquotedbl red\textquotedbl ) from objects \textquotedbl red strawberry\textquotedbl , ensuring the distortion selectively affects the target objects with the target property. Contrastive learning is then employed to further refine this distortion, and a method is formulated for detecting objects that are influenced by the distortion. Extensive experiments with in-depth analysis across different datasets demonstrate the utility and applicability of our proposed approach.

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This paper presents two models of neural-networks and their training applicable to neural networks of arbitrary width, depth and topology, assuming only finite-energy neural activations; and a novel representor theory for neural networks in terms of a matrix-valued kernel. The first model is exact (un-approximated) and global, casting the neural network as an elements in a reproducing kernel Banach space (RKBS); we use this model to provide tight bounds on Rademacher complexity. The second model is exact and local, casting the change in neural network function resulting from a bounded change in weights and biases (ie. a training step) in reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) in terms of a local-intrinsic neural kernel (LiNK). This local model provides insight into model adaptation through tight bounds on Rademacher complexity of network adaptation. We also prove that the neural tangent kernel (NTK) is a first-order approximation of the LiNK kernel. Finally, and noting that the LiNK does not provide a representor theory for technical reasons, we present an exact novel representor theory for layer-wise neural network training with unregularized gradient descent in terms of a local-extrinsic neural kernel (LeNK). This representor theory gives insight into the role of higher-order statistics in neural network training and the effect of kernel evolution in neural-network kernel models. Throughout the paper (a) feedforward ReLU networks and (b) residual networks (ResNet) are used as illustrative examples.

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Aly M. Kassem, Omar Mahmoud, Niloofar Mireshghallah, Hyunwoo Kim, Yulia Tsvetkov, Yejin Choi, Sherif Saad, Santu Rana

In this paper, we introduce a black-box prompt optimization method that uses an attacker LLM agent to uncover higher levels of memorization in a victim agent, compared to what is revealed by prompting the target model with the training data directly, which is the dominant approach of quantifying memorization in LLMs. We use an iterative rejection-sampling optimization process to find instruction-based prompts with two main characteristics: (1) minimal overlap with the training data to avoid presenting the solution directly to the model, and (2) maximal overlap between the victim model's output and the training data, aiming to induce the victim to spit out training data. We observe that our instruction-based prompts generate outputs with 23.7% higher overlap with training data compared to the baseline prefix-suffix measurements. Our findings show that (1) instruction-tuned models can expose pre-training data as much as their base-models, if not more so, (2) contexts other than the original training data can lead to leakage, and (3) using instructions proposed by other LLMs can open a new avenue of automated attacks that we should further study and explore. The code can be found at https://github.com/Alymostafa/Instruction_based_attack .

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Experimental (design) optimization is a key driver in designing and discovering new products and processes. Bayesian Optimization (BO) is an effective tool for optimizing expensive and black-box experimental design processes. While Bayesian optimization is a principled data-driven approach to experimental optimization, it learns everything from scratch and could greatly benefit from the expertise of its human (domain) experts who often reason about systems at different abstraction levels using physical properties that are not necessarily directly measured (or measurable). In this paper, we propose a human-AI collaborative Bayesian framework to incorporate expert preferences about unmeasured abstract properties into the surrogate modeling to further boost the performance of BO. We provide an efficient strategy that can also handle any incorrect/misleading expert bias in preferential judgments. We discuss the convergence behavior of our proposed framework. Our experimental results involving synthetic functions and real-world datasets show the superiority of our method against the baselines.

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Kien Do, Dung Nguyen, Hung Le, Thao Le, Dang Nguyen, Haripriya Harikumar, Truyen Tran, Santu Rana, Svetha Venkatesh

In this paper, we study the "dataset bias" problem from a statistical standpoint, and identify the main cause of the problem as the strong correlation between a class attribute u and a non-class attribute b in the input x, represented by p(u|b) differing significantly from p(u). Since p(u|b) appears as part of the sampling distributions in the standard maximum log-likelihood (MLL) objective, a model trained on a biased dataset via MLL inherently incorporates such correlation into its parameters, leading to poor generalization to unbiased test data. From this observation, we propose to mitigate dataset bias via either weighting the objective of each sample n by \frac{1}{p(u_{n}|b_{n})} or sampling that sample with a weight proportional to \frac{1}{p(u_{n}|b_{n})}. While both methods are statistically equivalent, the former proves more stable and effective in practice. Additionally, we establish a connection between our debiasing approach and causal reasoning, reinforcing our method's theoretical foundation. However, when the bias label is unavailable, computing p(u|b) exactly is difficult. To overcome this challenge, we propose to approximate \frac{1}{p(u|b)} using a biased classifier trained with "bias amplification" losses. Extensive experiments on various biased datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method over existing debiasing techniques in most settings, validating our theoretical analysis.

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Recent data-privacy laws have sparked interest in machine unlearning, which involves removing the effect of specific training samples from a learnt model as if they were never present in the original training dataset. The challenge of machine unlearning is to discard information about the ``forget'' data in the learnt model without altering the knowledge about the remaining dataset and to do so more efficiently than the naive retraining approach. To achieve this, we adopt a projected-gradient based learning method, named as Projected-Gradient Unlearning (PGU), in which the model takes steps in the orthogonal direction to the gradient subspaces deemed unimportant for the retaining dataset, so as to its knowledge is preserved. By utilizing Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) to update the model weights, our method can efficiently scale to any model and dataset size. We provide empirically evidence to demonstrate that our unlearning method can produce models that behave similar to models retrained from scratch across various metrics even when the training dataset is no longer accessible. Our code is available at https://github.com/hnanhtuan/projected_gradient_unlearning.

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Co-design involves simultaneously optimizing the controller and agents physical design. Its inherent bi-level optimization formulation necessitates an outer loop design optimization driven by an inner loop control optimization. This can be challenging when the design space is large and each design evaluation involves data-intensive reinforcement learning process for control optimization. To improve the sample-efficiency we propose a multi-fidelity-based design exploration strategy based on Hyperband where we tie the controllers learnt across the design spaces through a universal policy learner for warm-starting the subsequent controller learning problems. Further, we recommend a particular way of traversing the Hyperband generated design matrix that ensures that the stochasticity of the Hyperband is reduced the most with the increasing warm starting effect of the universal policy learner as it is strengthened with each new design evaluation. Experiments performed on a wide range of agent design problems demonstrate the superiority of our method compared to the baselines. Additionally, analysis of the optimized designs shows interesting design alterations including design simplifications and non-intuitive alterations that have emerged in the biological world.

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Thommen George Karimpanal, Laknath Buddhika Semage, Santu Rana, Hung Le, Truyen Tran, Sunil Gupta, Svetha Venkatesh

Large language models (LLMs) have recently demonstrated their impressive ability to provide context-aware responses via text. This ability could potentially be used to predict plausible solutions in sequential decision making tasks pertaining to pattern completion. For example, by observing a partial stack of cubes, LLMs can predict the correct sequence in which the remaining cubes should be stacked by extrapolating the observed patterns (e.g., cube sizes, colors or other attributes) in the partial stack. In this work, we introduce LaGR (Language-Guided Reinforcement learning), which uses this predictive ability of LLMs to propose solutions to tasks that have been partially completed by a primary reinforcement learning (RL) agent, in order to subsequently guide the latter's training. However, as RL training is generally not sample-efficient, deploying this approach would inherently imply that the LLM be repeatedly queried for solutions; a process that can be expensive and infeasible. To address this issue, we introduce SEQ (sample efficient querying), where we simultaneously train a secondary RL agent to decide when the LLM should be queried for solutions. Specifically, we use the quality of the solutions emanating from the LLM as the reward to train this agent. We show that our proposed framework LaGR-SEQ enables more efficient primary RL training, while simultaneously minimizing the number of queries to the LLM. We demonstrate our approach on a series of tasks and highlight the advantages of our approach, along with its limitations and potential future research directions.

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Model selection is an integral problem of model based optimization techniques such as Bayesian optimization (BO). Current approaches often treat model selection as an estimation problem, to be periodically updated with observations coming from the optimization iterations. In this paper, we propose an alternative way to achieve both efficiently. Specifically, we propose a novel way of integrating model selection and BO for the single goal of reaching the function optima faster. The algorithm moves back and forth between BO in the model space and BO in the function space, where the goodness of the recommended model is captured by a score function and fed back, capturing how well the model helped convergence in the function space. The score function is derived in such a way that it neutralizes the effect of the moving nature of the BO in the function space, thus keeping the model selection problem stationary. This back and forth leads to quick convergence for both model selection and BO in the function space. In addition to improved sample efficiency, the framework outputs information about the black-box function. Convergence is proved, and experimental results show significant improvement compared to standard BO.

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We can usually assume others have goals analogous to our own. This assumption can also, at times, be applied to multi-agent games - e.g. Agent 1's attraction to green pellets is analogous to Agent 2's attraction to red pellets. This "analogy" assumption is tied closely to the cognitive process known as empathy. Inspired by empathy, we design a simple and explainable architecture to model another agent's action-value function. This involves learning an "Imagination Network" to transform the other agent's observed state in order to produce a human-interpretable "empathetic state" which, when presented to the learning agent, produces behaviours that mimic the other agent. Our approach is applicable to multi-agent scenarios consisting of a single learning agent and other (independent) agents acting according to fixed policies. This architecture is particularly beneficial for (but not limited to) algorithms using a composite value or reward function. We show our method produces better performance in multi-agent games, where it robustly estimates the other's model in different environment configurations. Additionally, we show that the empathetic states are human interpretable, and thus verifiable.

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