Wang, Yihan, Zhang, Huan, Chen, Hongge, Boning, Duane, Hsieh, Cho-Jui

Recent papers have demonstrated that ensemble stumps and trees could be vulnerable to small input perturbations, so robustness verification and defense for those models have become an important research problem. However, due to the structure of decision trees, where each node makes decision purely based on one feature value, all the previous works only consider the $\ell_\infty$ norm perturbation. To study robustness with respect to a general $\ell_p$ norm perturbation, one has to consider the correlation between perturbations on different features, which has not been handled by previous algorithms. In this paper, we study the problem of robustness verification and certified defense with respect to general $\ell_p$ norm perturbations for ensemble decision stumps and trees. For robustness verification of ensemble stumps, we prove that complete verification is NP-complete for $p\in(0, \infty)$ while polynomial time algorithms exist for $p=0$ or $\infty$. For $p\in(0, \infty)$ we develop an efficient dynamic programming based algorithm for sound verification of ensemble stumps. For ensemble trees, we generalize the previous multi-level robustness verification algorithm to $\ell_p$ norm. We demonstrate the first certified defense method for training ensemble stumps and trees with respect to $\ell_p$ norm perturbations, and verify its effectiveness empirically on real datasets.

Tree ensembles are flexible predictive models that can capture relevant variables and to some extent their interactions in a compact and interpretable manner. Most algorithms for obtaining tree ensembles are based on versions of boosting or Random Forest. Previous work showed that boosting algorithms exhibit a cyclic behavior of selecting the same tree again and again due to the way the loss is optimized. At the same time, Random Forest is not based on loss optimization and obtains a more complex and less interpretable model. In this paper we present a novel method for obtaining compact tree ensembles by growing a large pool of trees in parallel with many independent boosting threads and then selecting a small subset and updating their leaf weights by loss optimization. We allow for the trees in the initial pool to have different depths which further helps with generalization. Experiments on real datasets show that the obtained model has usually a smaller loss than boosting, which is also reflected in a lower misclassification error on the test set.

Yao, Yao, Xiao, Li, An, Zhicheng, Zhang, Wanpeng, Luo, Dijun

Model-based deep reinforcement learning has achieved success in various domains that require high sample efficiencies, such as Go and robotics. However, there are some remaining issues, such as planning efficient explorations to learn more accurate dynamic models, evaluating the uncertainty of the learned models, and more rational utilization of models. To mitigate these issues, we present MEEE, a model-ensemble method that consists of optimistic exploration and weighted exploitation. During exploration, unlike prior methods directly selecting the optimal action that maximizes the expected accumulative return, our agent first generates a set of action candidates and then seeks out the optimal action that takes both expected return and future observation novelty into account. During exploitation, different discounted weights are assigned to imagined transition tuples according to their model uncertainty respectively, which will prevent model predictive error propagation in agent training. Experiments on several challenging continuous control benchmark tasks demonstrated that our approach outperforms other model-free and model-based state-of-the-art methods, especially in sample complexity.

Opitz, David W., Shavlik, Jude W.

In particular, combining separately trained neural networks (commonly referred to as a neural-network ensemble) has been demonstrated to be particularly successful (Alpaydin, 1993; Drucker et al., 1994; Hansen and Salamon, 1990; Hashem et al., 1994; Krogh and Vedelsby, 1995; Maclin and Shavlik, 1995; Perrone, 1992). Both theoretical (Hansen and Salamon, 1990; Krogh and Vedelsby, 1995) and empirical (Hashem et al., 1994; 536 D. W. OPITZ, J. W. SHA VLIK Maclin and Shavlik, 1995) work has shown that a good ensemble is one where the individual networks are both accurate and make their errors on different parts of the input space; however, most previous work has either focussed on combining the output of multiple trained networks or only indirectly addressed how we should generate a good set of networks.

Opitz, David W., Shavlik, Jude W.