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Convex Adversarial Collective Classification
Mohamadali Torkamani
Committee: Prof. Daniel Lowd (chair), Prof. Andrzej Proskurowski, Prof. Jun Li
Directed Research Project(May 2013)
Keywords: Convex Programming, Adversarial Machine Learning, Graph Labeling, Structured Output Prediction, Collective Classification

Many real-world domains, such as web spam, auction fraud, and counter-terrorism, are both relational and adversarial. Existing work on adversarial machine learning assumes that the attributes of each instance can be manipulated independently. Collective classification violates this assumption, since object labels depend on the labels of related objects as well as their own attributes. In this paper, we present a novel method for robustly performing collective classification in the presence of a malicious adversary that can modify up to a fixed number of binary-valued attributes. Our method is formulated as a convex quadratic program that guarantees optimal weights against a worst-case adversary in polynomial time. In addition to increased robustness against active adversaries, this kind of adversarial regularization can also lead to improved generalization even when no adversary is present. In experiments on real and simulated data, our method consistently outperforms both non-adversarial and non-relational baselines.