Bhattacharyya, Apratim, Schiele, Bernt, Fritz, Mario

For autonomous agents to successfully operate in the real world, anticipation of future events and states of their environment is a key competence. This problem has been formalized as a sequence extrapolation problem, where a number of observations are used to predict the sequence into the future. Real-world scenarios demand a model of uncertainty of such predictions, as predictions become increasingly uncertain -- in particular on long time horizons. While impressive results have been shown on point estimates, scenarios that induce multi-modal distributions over future sequences remain challenging. Our work addresses these challenges in a Gaussian Latent Variable model for sequence prediction. Our core contribution is a "Best of Many" sample objective that leads to more accurate and more diverse predictions that better capture the true variations in real-world sequence data. Beyond our analysis of improved model fit, our models also empirically outperform prior work on three diverse tasks ranging from traffic scenes to weather data.

Tan, Yi Xiang Marcus, Iacovazzi, Alfonso, Homoliak, Ivan, Elovici, Yuval, Binder, Alexander

Mouse dynamics is a potential means of authenticating users. Typically, the authentication process is based on classical machine learning techniques, but recently, deep learning techniques have been introduced for this purpose. Although prior research has demonstrated how machine learning and deep learning algorithms can be bypassed by carefully crafted adversarial samples, there has been very little research performed on the topic of behavioural biometrics in the adversarial domain. In an attempt to address this gap, we built a set of attacks, which are applications of several generative approaches, to construct adversarial mouse trajectories that bypass authentication models. These generated mouse sequences will serve as the adversarial samples in the context of our experiments. We also present an analysis of the attack approaches we explored, explaining their limitations. In contrast to previous work, we consider the attacks in a more realistic and challenging setting in which an attacker has access to recorded user data but does not have access to the authentication model or its outputs. We explore three different attack strategies: 1) statistics-based, 2) imitation-based, and 3) surrogate-based; we show that they are able to evade the functionality of the authentication models, thereby impacting their robustness adversely. We show that imitation-based attacks often perform better than surrogate-based attacks, unless, however, the attacker can guess the architecture of the authentication model. In such cases, we propose a potential detection mechanism against surrogate-based attacks.

Lawrence, Carolin, Kotnis, Bhushan, Niepert, Mathias

Neural sequence generation is typically performed token-by-token and left-to-right. Whenever a token is generated only previously produced tokens are taken into consideration. In contrast, for problems such as sequence classification, bidirectional attention, which takes both past and future tokens into consideration, has been shown to perform much better. We propose to make the sequence generation process bidirectional by employing special placeholder tokens. Treated as a node in a fully connected graph, a placeholder token can take past and future tokens into consideration when generating the actual output token. We verify the effectiveness of our approach experimentally on two conversational tasks where the proposed bidirectional model outperforms competitive baselines by a large margin.

Chen, Wenhu, Li, Guanlin, Liu, Shujie, Zhang, Zhirui, Li, Mu, Zhou, Ming

Sequence-to-Sequence models were introduced to tackle many real-life problems like machine translation, summarization, image captioning, etc. The standard optimization algorithms are mainly based on example-to-example matching like maximum likelihood estimation, which is known to suffer from data sparsity problem. Here we present an alternate view to explain sequence-to-sequence learning as a distribution matching problem, where each source or target example is viewed to represent a local latent distribution in the source or target domain. Then, we interpret sequence-to-sequence learning as learning a transductive model to transform the source local latent distributions to match their corresponding target distributions. In our framework, we approximate both the source and target latent distributions with recurrent neural networks (augmenter). During training, the parallel augmenters learn to better approximate the local latent distributions, while the sequence prediction model learns to minimize the KL-divergence of the transformed source distributions and the approximated target distributions. This algorithm can alleviate the data sparsity issues in sequence learning by locally augmenting more unseen data pairs and increasing the model's robustness. Experiments conducted on machine translation and image captioning consistently demonstrate the superiority of our proposed algorithm over the other competing algorithms.

I was reading over Block's sequence generators, which seem to use RNN's with attention mechanisms to generate sequences. I'm not completely sure (I couldn't find any example of them being used), but they seem to be designed for training in a way where they will generate sequences, then calculate loss based on the generated sequence, rather than just predict the next character like Char-RNN. For Char-RNN's they seem to be trained in a discriminative fashion, but they can be used to sample the next character in a sequence, then feed in a new string with the predicted/sampled character appended to the string. This is more of a general discussion than a single question. Is there a fundamental difference between learning a probability distribution and sampling from it (like Char-RNN), or is Char-RNN also somehow implicitly learning to become a generative model like an RBM?