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PATHATTACK: attacking shortest paths in complex networks

Summary

Shortest paths in complex networks play key roles in many applications. Examples include routing packets in a computer network, routing traffic on a transportation network, and inferring semantic distances between concepts on the World Wide Web. An adversary with the capability to perturb the graph might make the shortest path between two nodes route traffic through advantageous portions of the graph (e.g., a toll road he owns). In this paper, we introduce the Force Path Cut problem, in which there is a specific route the adversary wants to promote by removing a minimum number of edges in the graph. We show that Force Path Cut is NP-complete, but also that it can be recast as an instance of the Weighted Set Cover problem, enabling the use of approximation algorithms. The size of the universe for the set cover problem is potentially factorial in the number of nodes. To overcome this hurdle, we propose the PATHATTACK algorithm, which via constraint generation considers only a small subset of paths|at most 5% of the number of edges in 99% of our experiments. Across a diverse set of synthetic and real networks, the linear programming formulation of Weighted Set Cover yields the optimal solution in over 98% of cases. We also demonstrate a time/cost tradeoff using two approximation algorithms and greedy baseline methods. This work provides a foundation for addressing similar problems and expands the area of adversarial graph mining beyond recent work on node classification and embedding.
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Summary

Shortest paths in complex networks play key roles in many applications. Examples include routing packets in a computer network, routing traffic on a transportation network, and inferring semantic distances between concepts on the World Wide Web. An adversary with the capability to perturb the graph might make the shortest path...

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Health-informed policy gradients for multi-agent reinforcement learning

Summary

This paper proposes a definition of system health in the context of multiple agents optimizing a joint reward function. We use this definition as a credit assignment term in a policy gradient algorithm to distinguish the contributions of individual agents to the global reward. The health-informed credit assignment is then extended to a multi-agent variant of the proximal policy optimization algorithm and demonstrated on simple particle environments that have elements of system health, risk-taking, semi-expendable agents, and partial observability. We show significant improvement in learning performance compared to policy gradient methods that do not perform multi-agent credit assignment.
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Summary

This paper proposes a definition of system health in the context of multiple agents optimizing a joint reward function. We use this definition as a credit assignment term in a policy gradient algorithm to distinguish the contributions of individual agents to the global reward. The health-informed credit assignment is then...

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Mobile capabilities for micro-meteorological predictions: FY20 Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Technical Investment Program

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TIP-146

Summary

Existing operational numerical weather forecast systems are geographically too coarse and not sufficiently accurate to adequately support future needs in applications such as Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and wildfire forecasting. This is especially true with respect to wind forecasts. Principal factors contributing to this are the lack of observation data within the atmospheric boundary layer and numerical forecast models that operate on low-resolution grids. This project endeavored to address both of these issues. Firstly, by development and demonstration of specially equipped fixed-wing drones to collect atmospheric data within the boundary layer, and secondly by creating a high-resolution weather research forecast model executing on the Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center. Some success was achieved in the development and flight testing of the specialized drones. Significant success was achieved in the development of the high-resolution forecasting system and demonstrating the feasibility of ingesting atmospheric observations from small airborne platforms.
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Summary

Existing operational numerical weather forecast systems are geographically too coarse and not sufficiently accurate to adequately support future needs in applications such as Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and wildfire forecasting. This is especially true with respect to wind forecasts. Principal factors contributing to this are the lack of...

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Learning emergent discrete message communication for cooperative reinforcement learning

Published in:
37th Conf. on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, UAI 2021, early access, 26-30 July 2021.

Summary

Communication is a important factor that enables agents work cooperatively in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Most previous work uses continuous message communication whose high representational capacity comes at the expense of interpretability. Allowing agents to learn their own discrete message communication protocol emerged from a variety of domains can increase the interpretability for human designers and other agents. This paper proposes a method to generate discrete messages analogous to human languages, and achieve communication by a broadcast-and-listen mechanism based on self-attention. We show that discrete message communication has performance comparable to continuous message communication but with much a much smaller vocabulary size. Furthermore, we propose an approach that allows humans to interactively send discrete messages to agents.
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Summary

Communication is a important factor that enables agents work cooperatively in multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL). Most previous work uses continuous message communication whose high representational capacity comes at the expense of interpretability. Allowing agents to learn their own discrete message communication protocol emerged from a variety of domains can increase...

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More than a fair share: Network Data Remanence attacks against secret sharing-based schemes [early access]

Published in:
Network and Distributed Systems Security Symp., NDSS, 23-26 February 2021.

Summary

With progress toward a practical quantum computer has come an increasingly rapid search for quantum-safe, secure communication schemes that do not rely on discrete logarithm or factorization problems. One such encryption scheme, Multi-path Switching with Secret Sharing (MSSS), combines secret sharing with multi-path switching to achieve security as long as the adversary does not have global observability of all paths and thus cannot capture enough shares to reconstruct messages. MSSS assumes that sending a share on a path is an atomic operation and all paths have the same delay. In this paper, we identify a side-channel vulnerability for MSSS, created by the fact that in real networks, sending a share is not an atomic operation as paths have multiple hops and different delays. This channel, referred to as Network Data Remanence (NDR), is present in all schemes like MSSS whose security relies on transfer atomicity and all paths having same delay. We demonstrate the presence of NDR in a physical testbed. We then identify two new attacks that aim to exploit the side channel, referred to as NDR Blind and NDR Planned, propose an analytical model to analyze the attacks, and demonstrate them using an implementation of MSSS based on the ONOS SDN controller. Finally, we present a countermeasure for the attacks and show its effectiveness in simulations and Mininet experiments.
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Summary

With progress toward a practical quantum computer has come an increasingly rapid search for quantum-safe, secure communication schemes that do not rely on discrete logarithm or factorization problems. One such encryption scheme, Multi-path Switching with Secret Sharing (MSSS), combines secret sharing with multi-path switching to achieve security as long as...

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Beyond expertise and roles: a framework to characterize the stakeholders of interpretable machine learning and their needs

Published in:
Proc. Conf. on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 8-13 May 2021, article no. 74.

Summary

To ensure accountability and mitigate harm, it is critical that diverse stakeholders can interrogate black-box automated systems and find information that is understandable, relevant, and useful to them. In this paper, we eschew prior expertise- and role-based categorizations of interpretability stakeholders in favor of a more granular framework that decouples stakeholders' knowledge from their interpretability needs. We characterize stakeholders by their formal, instrumental, and personal knowledge and how it manifests in the contexts of machine learning, the data domain, and the general milieu. We additionally distill a hierarchical typology of stakeholder needs that distinguishes higher-level domain goals from lower-level interpretability tasks. In assessing the descriptive, evaluative, and generative powers of our framework, we find our more nuanced treatment of stakeholders reveals gaps and opportunities in the interpretability literature, adds precision to the design and comparison of user studies, and facilitates a more reflexive approach to conducting this research.
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Summary

To ensure accountability and mitigate harm, it is critical that diverse stakeholders can interrogate black-box automated systems and find information that is understandable, relevant, and useful to them. In this paper, we eschew prior expertise- and role-based categorizations of interpretability stakeholders in favor of a more granular framework that decouples...

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Seasonal Inhomogeneous Nonconsecutive Arrival Process Search and Evaluation

Published in:
25th International Conference on Pattern Recognition [submitted]

Summary

Time series often exhibit seasonal patterns, and identification of these patterns is essential to understanding thedata and predicting future behavior. Most methods train onlarge datasets and can fail to predict far past the training data. This limitation becomes more pronounced when data is sparse. This paper presents a method to fit a model to seasonal time series data that maintains predictive power when data is limited. This method, called SINAPSE, combines statistical model fitting with an information criteria to search for disjoint, andpossibly nonconsecutive, regimes underlying the data, allowing for a sparse representation resistant to overfitting.
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Summary

Time series often exhibit seasonal patterns, and identification of these patterns is essential to understanding thedata and predicting future behavior. Most methods train onlarge datasets and can fail to predict far past the training data. This limitation becomes more pronounced when data is sparse. This paper presents a method to...

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The Speech Enhancement via Attention Masking Network (SEAMNET): an end-to-end system for joint suppression of noise and reverberation [early access]

Published in:
IEEE/ACM Trans. on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, Vol. 29, 2021, pp. 515-26.

Summary

This paper proposes the Speech Enhancement via Attention Masking Network (SEAMNET), a neural network-based end-to-end single-channel speech enhancement system designed for joint suppression of noise and reverberation. It formalizes an end-to-end network architecture, referred to as b-Net, which accomplishes noise suppression through attention masking in a learned embedding space. A key contribution of SEAMNET is that the b-Net architecture contains both an enhancement and an autoencoder path. This paper proposes a novel loss function which simultaneously trains both the enhancement and the autoencoder paths, so that disabling the masking mechanism during inference causes SEAMNET to reconstruct the input speech signal. This allows dynamic control of the level of suppression applied by SEAMNET via a minimum gain level, which is not possible in other state-of-the-art approaches to end-to-end speech enhancement. This paper also proposes a perceptually-motivated waveform distance measure. In addition to the b-Net architecture, this paper proposes a novel method for designing target waveforms for network training, so that joint suppression of additive noise and reverberation can be performed by an end-to-end enhancement system, which has not been previously possible. Experimental results show the SEAMNET system to outperform a variety of state-of-the-art baselines systems, both in terms of objective speech quality measures and subjective listening tests. Finally, this paper draws parallels between SEAMNET and conventional statistical model-based enhancement approaches, offering interpretability of many network components.
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Summary

This paper proposes the Speech Enhancement via Attention Masking Network (SEAMNET), a neural network-based end-to-end single-channel speech enhancement system designed for joint suppression of noise and reverberation. It formalizes an end-to-end network architecture, referred to as b-Net, which accomplishes noise suppression through attention masking in a learned embedding space. A...

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Information Aware max-norm Dirichlet networks for predictive uncertainty estimation

Published in:
Neural Netw., Vol. 135, 2021, pp. 105–114.

Summary

Precise estimation of uncertainty in predictions for AI systems is a critical factor in ensuring trust and safety. Deep neural networks trained with a conventional method are prone to over-confident predictions. In contrast to Bayesian neural networks that learn approximate distributions on weights to infer prediction confidence, we propose a novel method, Information Aware Dirichlet networks, that learn an explicit Dirichlet prior distribution on predictive distributions by minimizing a bound on the expected max norm of the prediction error and penalizing information associated with incorrect outcomes. Properties of the new cost function are derived to indicate how improved uncertainty estimation is achieved. Experiments using real datasets show that our technique outperforms, by a large margin, state-of-the-art neural networks for estimating within-distribution and out-of-distribution uncertainty, and detecting adversarial examples.
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Summary

Precise estimation of uncertainty in predictions for AI systems is a critical factor in ensuring trust and safety. Deep neural networks trained with a conventional method are prone to over-confident predictions. In contrast to Bayesian neural networks that learn approximate distributions on weights to infer prediction confidence, we propose a...

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Operation of an optical atomic clock with a Brillouin laser subsystem

Summary

Microwave atomic clocks have traditionally served as the 'gold standard' for precision measurements of time and frequency. However, over the past decade, optical atomic clocks have surpassed the precision of their microwave counterparts by two orders of magnitude or more. Extant optical clocks occupy volumes of more than one cubic metre, and it is a substantial challenge to enable these clocks to operate in field environments, which requires the ruggedization and miniaturization of the atomic reference and clock laser along with their supporting lasers and electronics. In terms of the clock laser, prior laboratory demonstrations of optical clocks have relied on the exceptional performance gained through stabilization using bulk cavities, which unfortunately necessitates the use of vacuum and also renders the laser susceptible to vibration-induced noise. Here, using a stimulated Brillouin scattering laser subsystem that has a reduced cavity volume and operates without vacuum, we demonstrate a promising component of a portable optical atomic clock architecture. We interrogate a 88Sr+ ion with our stimulated Brillouin scattering laser and achieve a clock exhibiting short-term stability of 3.9 × 10−14 over one second—an improvement of an order of magnitude over state-of-the-art microwave clocks. This performance increase within a potentially portable system presents a compelling avenue for substantially improving existing technology, such as the global positioning system, and also for enabling the exploration of topics such as geodetic measurements of the Earth, searches for dark matter and investigations into possible long-term variations of fundamental physics constants.
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Summary

Microwave atomic clocks have traditionally served as the 'gold standard' for precision measurements of time and frequency. However, over the past decade, optical atomic clocks have surpassed the precision of their microwave counterparts by two orders of magnitude or more. Extant optical clocks occupy volumes of more than one cubic...

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