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KDD 2020 | Malicious Attacks against Deep Reinforcement Learning Interpretations

Accepted Papers

Malicious Attacks against Deep Reinforcement Learning Interpretations

Mengdi Huai: University of Virginia; Jianhui Sun: University of Virginia; Renqin Cai: University of Virginia; Liuyi Yao: University of New York at Buffalo; Aidong Zhang: University of Virginia


The past years have witnessed the rapid development of deep reinforcement learning (DRL), which is a combination of deep learning and reinforcement learning (RL). However, the adoption of deep neural networks makes the decision-making process of DRL opaque and lacking transparency. Motivated by this, various interpretation methods for DRL have been proposed. However, those interpretation methods make an implicit assumption that they are performed in a reliable and secure environment. In practice, sequential agent-environment interactions expose the DRL algorithms and their corresponding downstream interpretations to extra adversarial risk. In spite of the prevalence of malicious attacks, there is no existing work studying the possibility and feasibility of malicious attacks against DRL interpretations. To bridge this gap, in this paper, we investigate the vulnerability of DRL interpretation methods. Specifically, we introduce the first study of the adversarial attacks against DRL interpretations, and propose an optimization framework based on which the optimal adversarial attack strategy can be derived. In addition, we study the vulnerability of DRL interpretation methods to the model poisoning attacks, and present an algorithmic framework to rigorously formulate the proposed model poisoning attack. Finally, we conduct both theoretical analysis and extensive experiments to validate the effectiveness of the proposed malicious attacks against DRL interpretations.

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