AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Explicit Defense Actions Against Test-Set Attacks
Scott Alfeld, Xiaojin Zhu, Paul Barford

Last modified: 2017-02-12


Automated learning and decision making systems in public-facing applications are vulnerable to malicious attacks. Examples of such systems include spam detectors, credit card fraud detectors, and network intrusion detection systems. These systems are at further risk of attack when money is directly involved, such as market forecasters or decision systems used in determining insurance or loan rates. In this paper, we consider the setting where a predictor Bob has a fixed model, and an unknown attacker Alice aims to perturb (or poison) future test instances so as to alter Bob's prediction to her benefit. We focus specifically on Bob's optimal defense actions to limit Alice's effectiveness. We define a general framework for determining Bob's optimal defense action against Alice's worst-case attack. We then demonstrate our framework by considering linear predictors, where we provide tractable methods of determining the optimal defense action. Using these methods, we perform an empirical investigation of optimal defense actions for a particular class of linear models -- autoregressive forecasters -- and find that for ten real world futures markets, the optimal defense action reduces the Bob's loss by between 78 and 97%.


Adversarial Learning; Autoregressive Forecasting; Machine Learning

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