Not all datasets are born equal: On heterogeneous data and adversarial examples

Yael Mathov, Eden Levy, Ziv Katzir, Asaf Shabtai, Yuval Elovici

arXiv preprint arXiv:2010.03180, 2020

Recent work on adversarial learning has focused mainly on neural networks and domains where those networks excel, such as computer vision, or audio processing. The data in these domains is typically homogeneous, whereas heterogeneous tabular datasets domains remain underexplored despite their prevalence. When searching for adversarial patterns within heterogeneous input spaces, an attacker must simultaneously preserve the complex domain-specific validity rules of the data, as well as the adversarial nature of the identified samples. As such, applying adversarial manipulations to heterogeneous datasets has proved to be a challenging task, and no generic attack method was suggested thus far. We, however, argue that machine learning models trained on heterogeneous tabular data are as susceptible to adversarial manipulations as those trained on continuous or homogeneous data such as images. To support our claim, we introduce a generic optimization framework for identifying adversarial perturbations in heterogeneous input spaces. We define distribution-aware constraints for preserving the consistency of the adversarial examples and incorporate them by embedding the heterogeneous input into a continuous latent space. Due to the nature of the underlying datasets We focus on perturbations, and demonstrate their applicability in real life. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach using three datasets from different content domains. Our results demonstrate that despite the constraints imposed on input validity in heterogeneous datasets, machine learning models trained using such data are still equally …