Zhuofeng Wu


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ChatGPT as an Attack Tool: Stealthy Textual Backdoor Attack via Blackbox Generative Model Trigger
Jiazhao Li | Yijin Yang | Zhuofeng Wu | V.G.Vinod Vydiswaran | Chaowei Xiao
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Textual backdoor attacks, characterized by subtle manipulations of input triggers and training dataset labels, pose significant threats to security-sensitive applications. The rise of advanced generative models, such as GPT-4, with their capacity for human-like rewriting, makes these attacks increasingly challenging to detect. In this study, we conduct an in-depth examination of black-box generative models as tools for backdoor attacks, thereby emphasizing the need for effective defense strategies. We propose BGMAttack, a novel framework that harnesses advanced generative models to execute stealthier backdoor attacks on text classifiers. Unlike prior approaches constrained by subpar generation quality, BGMAttack renders backdoor triggers more elusive to human cognition and advanced machine detection. A rigorous evaluation of attack effectiveness over four sentiment classification tasks, complemented by four human cognition stealthiness tests, reveals BGMAttack’s superior performance, achieving a state-of-the-art attack success rate of 97.35% on average while maintaining superior stealth compared to conventional methods. The dataset and code are available: https://github.com/JiazhaoLi/BGMAttack.


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Defending against Insertion-based Textual Backdoor Attacks via Attribution
Jiazhao Li | Zhuofeng Wu | Wei Ping | Chaowei Xiao | V.G.Vinod Vydiswaran
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Textual backdoor attack, as a novel attack model, has been shown to be effective in adding a backdoor to the model during training. Defending against such backdoor attacks has become urgent and important. In this paper, we propose AttDef, an efficient attribution-based pipeline to defend against two insertion-based poisoning attacks, BadNL and InSent. Specifically, we regard the tokens with larger attribution scores as potential triggers since larger attribution words contribute more to the false prediction results and therefore are more likely to be poison triggers. Additionally, we further utilize an external pre-trained language model to distinguish whether input is poisoned or not. We show that our proposed method can generalize sufficiently well in two common attack scenarios (poisoning training data and testing data), which consistently improves previous methods. For instance, AttDef can successfully mitigate both attacks with an average accuracy of 79.97% (56.59% up) and 48.34% (3.99% up) under pre-training and post-training attack defense respectively, achieving the new state-of-the-art performance on prediction recovery over four benchmark datasets.

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HiCL: Hierarchical Contrastive Learning of Unsupervised Sentence Embeddings
Zhuofeng Wu | Chaowei Xiao | VG Vinod Vydiswaran
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

In this paper, we propose a hierarchical contrastive learning framework, HiCL, which considers local segment-level and global sequence-level relationships to improve training efficiency and effectiveness. Traditional methods typically encode a sequence in its entirety for contrast with others, often neglecting local representation learning, leading to challenges in generalizing to shorter texts. Conversely, HiCL improves its effectiveness by dividing the sequence into several segments and employing both local and global contrastive learning to model segment-level and sequence-level relationships. Further, considering the quadratic time complexity of transformers over input tokens, HiCL boosts training efficiency by first encoding short segments and then aggregating them to obtain the sequence representation. Extensive experiments show that HiCL enhances the prior top-performing SNCSE model across seven extensively evaluated STS tasks, with an average increase of +0.2% observed on BERTlarge and +0.44% on RoBERTalarge.


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IDPG: An Instance-Dependent Prompt Generation Method
Zhuofeng Wu | Sinong Wang | Jiatao Gu | Rui Hou | Yuxiao Dong | V.G.Vinod Vydiswaran | Hao Ma
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Prompt tuning is a new, efficient NLP transfer learning paradigm that adds a task-specific prompt in each input instance during the model training stage. It freezes the pre-trained language model and only optimizes a few task-specific prompts. In this paper, we propose a conditional prompt generation method to generate prompts for each input instance, referred to as the Instance-Dependent Prompt Generation (IDPG). Unlike traditional prompt tuning methods that use a fixed prompt, IDPG introduces a lightweight and trainable component to generate prompts based on each input sentence. Extensive experiments on ten natural language understanding (NLU) tasks show that the proposed strategy consistently outperforms various prompt tuning baselines and is on par with other efficient transfer learning methods such as Compacter while tuning far fewer model parameters.