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Achieve Your Reading Goals

The ML Reading Group is a perfect way for you to become a voracious reader of the current, latest machine learning research. Meeting every week, HUMIC's ML Reading Group is a small, tight-knit community that comes together to read and discuss a classic or state-of-the-art paper. By establishing habit and engaging in stimulating discussion, members of this group are able to become well-read and knowledgeable about machine learning with minimal commitment. The connections made, both about machine learning concepts and peers, are invaluable.

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Paper Spotlight

Attention is All You Need (NIPS 2017)

Discussion Leader: Darius Lam

The dominant sequence transduction models are based on complex recurrent or convolutional neural networks in an encoder-decoder configuration. The best performing models also connect the encoder and decoder through an attention mechanism. We propose a new simple network architecture, the Transformer, based solely on attention mechanisms, dispensing with recurrence and convolutions entirely. Experiments on two machine translation tasks show these models to be superior in quality while being more parallelizable and requiring significantly less time to train. Our model achieves 28.4 BLEU on the WMT 2014 English-to-German translation task, improving over the existing best results, including ensembles by over 2 BLEU. On the WMT 2014 English-to-French translation task, our model establishes a new single-model state-of-the-art BLEU score of 41.8 after training for 3.5 days on eight GPUs, a small fraction of the training costs of the best models from the literature. We show that the Transformer generalizes well to other tasks by applying it successfully to English constituency parsing both with large and limited training data.

Unsolved Problems in ML Safety (arXiv 2021)

Discussion Leader: Warren Sunada-Wong

Machine learning (ML) systems are rapidly increasing in size, are acquiring new capabilities, and are increasingly deployed in high-stakes settings. As with other powerful technologies, safety for ML should be a leading research priority. In response to emerging safety challenges in ML, such as those introduced by recent large-scale models, we provide a new roadmap for ML Safety and refine the technical problems that the field needs to address. We present four problems ready for research, namely withstanding hazards ("Robustness"), identifying hazards ("Monitoring"), reducing inherent model hazards ("Alignment"), and reducing systemic hazards ("Systemic Safety"). Throughout, we clarify each problem's motivation and provide concrete research directions.

CT-GAN: Malicious Tampering of 3D Medical Imagery using Deep Learning (USENIX Security 2019)

Discussion Leader: Deepak Singh

In 2018, clinics and hospitals were hit with numerous attacks leading to significant data breaches and interruptions in medical services. An attacker with access to medical records can do much more than hold the data for ransom or sell it on the black market.
In this paper, we show how an attacker can use deep-learning to add or remove evidence of medical conditions from volumetric (3D) medical scans. An attacker may perform this act in order to stop a political candidate, sabotage research, commit insurance fraud, perform an act of terrorism, or even commit murder. We implement the attack using a 3D conditional GAN and show how the framework (CT-GAN) can be automated. Although the body is complex and 3D medical scans are very large, CT-GAN achieves realistic results which can be executed in milliseconds.
To evaluate the attack, we focused on injecting and removing lung cancer from CT scans. We show how three expert radiologists and a state-of-the-art deep learning AI are highly susceptible to the attack. We also explore the attack surface of a modern radiology network and demonstrate one attack vector: we intercepted and manipulated CT scans in an active hospital network with a covert penetration test.

A Simple Framework for Contrastive Learning of Visual Representations (ICML 2020)

Discussion Leader: Darius Lam

This paper presents SimCLR: a simple framework for contrastive learning of visual representations. We simplify recently proposed contrastive self-supervised learning algorithms without requiring specialized architectures or a memory bank. In order to understand what enables the contrastive prediction tasks to learn useful representations, we systematically study the major components of our framework. We show that (1) composition of data augmentations plays a critical role in defining effective predictive tasks, (2) introducing a learnable nonlinear transformation between the representation and the contrastive loss substantially improves the quality of the learned representations, and (3) contrastive learning benefits from larger batch sizes and more training steps compared to supervised learning. By combining these findings, we are able to considerably outperform previous methods for self-supervised and semi-supervised learning on ImageNet. A linear classifier trained on self-supervised representations learned by SimCLR achieves 76.5% top-1 accuracy, which is a 7% relative improvement over previous state-of-the-art, matching the performance of a supervised ResNet-50. When fine-tuned on only 1% of the labels, we achieve 85.8% top-5 accuracy, outperforming AlexNet with 100X fewer labels.

The Lottery Ticket Hypothesis: Finding Sparse, Trainable Neural Networks (ICLR 2019)

Discussion Leader: Deepak Singh

Neural network pruning techniques can reduce the parameter counts of trained networks by over 90%, decreasing storage requirements and improving computational performance of inference without compromising accuracy. However, contemporary experience is that the sparse architectures produced by pruning are difficult to train from the start, which would similarly improve training performance.
We find that a standard pruning technique naturally uncovers subnetworks whose initializations made them capable of training effectively. Based on these results, we articulate the "lottery ticket hypothesis:" dense, randomly-initialized, feed-forward networks contain subnetworks ("winning tickets") that - when trained in isolation - reach test accuracy comparable to the original network in a similar number of iterations. The winning tickets we find have won the initialization lottery: their connections have initial weights that make training particularly effective.
We present an algorithm to identify winning tickets and a series of experiments that support the lottery ticket hypothesis and the importance of these fortuitous initializations. We consistently find winning tickets that are less than 10-20% of the size of several fully-connected and convolutional feed-forward architectures for MNIST and CIFAR10. Above this size, the winning tickets that we find learn faster than the original network and reach higher test accuracy.

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