Shihan Dou


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Detecting Adversarial Samples through Sharpness of Loss Landscape
Rui Zheng | Shihan Dou | Yuhao Zhou | Qin Liu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Zhongyu Wei | Xuanjing Huang | Menghan Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have been proven to be sensitive towards perturbations on input samples, and previous works highlight that adversarial samples are even more vulnerable than normal ones. In this work, this phenomenon is illustrated frWe first show that adversarial samples locate in steep and narrow local minima of the loss landscape (high sharpness) while normal samples, which differs distinctly from adversarial ones, reside in the loss surface that is more flatter (low sharpness).om the perspective of sharpness via visualizing the input loss landscape of models. Based on this, we propose a simple and effective sharpness-based detector to distinct adversarial samples by maximizing the loss increment within the region where the inference sample is located. Considering that the notion of sharpness of a loss landscape is relative, we further propose an adaptive optimization strategy in an attempt to fairly compare the relative sharpness among different samples. Experimental results show that our approach can outperform previous detection methods by large margins (average +6.6 F1 score) for four advanced attack strategies considered in this paper across three text classification tasks.

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On the Universal Adversarial Perturbations for Efficient Data-free Adversarial Detection
SongYang Gao | Shihan Dou | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang | Jin Ma | Ying Shan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Detecting adversarial samples that are carefully crafted to fool the model is a critical step to socially-secure applications. However, existing adversarial detection methods require access to sufficient training data, which brings noteworthy concerns regarding privacy leakage and generalizability. In this work, we validate that the adversarial sample generated by attack algorithms is strongly related to a specific vector in the high-dimensional inputs. Such vectors, namely UAPs (Universal Adversarial Perturbations), can be calculated without original training data. Based on this discovery, we propose a data-agnostic adversarial detection framework, which induces different responses between normal and adversarial samples to UAPs. Experimental results show that our method achieves competitive detection performance on various text classification tasks, and maintains an equivalent time consumption to normal inference.

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Loose lips sink ships: Mitigating Length Bias in Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback
Wei Shen | Rui Zheng | Wenyu Zhan | Jun Zhao | Shihan Dou | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Reinforcement learning from human feedback serves as a crucial bridge, aligning large language models with human and societal values. This alignment requires a vast corpus of human feedback to learn a reward model, which is subsequently used to finetune language models. However, we have identified that the reward model often finds shortcuts to bypass its intended objectives, misleadingly assuming that humans prefer longer responses. The emergence of length bias often induces the model to favor longer outputs, yet it doesn’t equate to an increase in helpful information within these outputs. In this paper, we propose an innovative solution, applying the Product-of-Experts (PoE) technique to separate reward modeling from the influence of sequence length. In our framework, the main expert concentrates on understanding human intents, while the biased expert targets the identification and capture of length bias. To further enhance the learning of bias, we introduce perturbations into the bias-focused expert, disrupting the flow of semantic information. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of our approach, indicating that language model performance is improved, irrespective of sequence length.

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DSRM: Boost Textual Adversarial Training with Distribution Shift Risk Minimization
SongYang Gao | Shihan Dou | Yan Liu | Xiao Wang | Qi Zhang | Zhongyu Wei | Jin Ma | Ying Shan
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Adversarial training is one of the best-performing methods in improving the robustness of deep language models. However, robust models come at the cost of high time consumption, as they require multi-step gradient ascents or word substitutions to obtain adversarial samples. In addition, these generated samples are deficient in grammatical quality and semantic consistency, which impairs the effectiveness of adversarial training. To address these problems, we introduce a novel, effective procedure for instead adversarial training with only clean data. Our procedure, distribution shift risk minimization (DSRM), estimates the adversarial loss by perturbing the input data’s probability distribution rather than their embeddings. This formulation results in a robust model that minimizes the expected global loss under adversarial attacks. Our approach requires zero adversarial samples for training and reduces time consumption by up to 70% compared to current best-performing adversarial training methods. Experiments demonstrate that DSRM considerably improves BERT’s resistance to textual adversarial attacks and achieves state-of-the-art robust accuracy on various benchmarks.


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MINER: Improving Out-of-Vocabulary Named Entity Recognition from an Information Theoretic Perspective
Xiao Wang | Shihan Dou | Limao Xiong | Yicheng Zou | Qi Zhang | Tao Gui | Liang Qiao | Zhanzhan Cheng | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

NER model has achieved promising performance on standard NER benchmarks. However, recent studies show that previous approaches may over-rely on entity mention information, resulting in poor performance on out-of-vocabulary(OOV) entity recognition. In this work, we propose MINER, a novel NER learning framework, to remedy this issue from an information-theoretic perspective. The proposed approach contains two mutual information based training objectives: i) generalizing information maximization, which enhances representation via deep understanding of context and entity surface forms; ii) superfluous information minimization, which discourages representation from rotate memorizing entity names or exploiting biased cues in data. Experiments on various settings and datasets demonstrate that it achieves better performance in predicting OOV entities.

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Kernel-Whitening: Overcome Dataset Bias with Isotropic Sentence Embedding
SongYang Gao | Shihan Dou | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Dataset bias has attracted increasing attention recently for its detrimental effect on the generalization ability of fine-tuned models. The current mainstream solution is designing an additional shallow model to pre-identify biased instances. However, such two-stage methods scale up the computational complexity of training process and obstruct valid feature information while mitigating bias.To address this issue, we utilize the representation normalization method which aims at disentangling the correlations between features of encoded sentences. We find it also promising in eliminating the bias problem by providing isotropic data distribution. We further propose Kernel-Whitening, a Nystrom kernel approximation method to achieve more thorough debiasing on nonlinear spurious correlations. Our framework is end-to-end with similar time consumption to fine-tuning. Experiments show that Kernel-Whitening significantly improves the performance of BERT on out-of-distribution datasets while maintaining in-distribution accuracy.

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Decorrelate Irrelevant, Purify Relevant: Overcome Textual Spurious Correlations from a Feature Perspective
Shihan Dou | Rui Zheng | Ting Wu | SongYang Gao | Junjie Shan | Qi Zhang | Yueming Wu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Natural language understanding (NLU) models tend to rely on spurious correlations (i.e., dataset bias) to achieve high performance on in-distribution datasets but poor performance on out-of-distribution ones. Most of the existing debiasing methods often identify and weaken these samples with biased features (i.e., superficial surface features that cause such spurious correlations). However, down-weighting these samples obstructs the model in learning from the non-biased parts of these samples. To tackle this challenge, in this paper, we propose to eliminate spurious correlations in a fine-grained manner from a feature space perspective. Specifically, we introduce Random Fourier Features and weighted re-sampling to decorrelate the dependencies between features to mitigate spurious correlations. After obtaining decorrelated features, we further design a mutual-information-based method to purify them, which forces the model to learn features that are more relevant to tasks. Extensive experiments on two well-studied NLU tasks demonstrate that our method is superior to other comparative approaches.