Towards Robust and Discriminative Sequential Data Learning: When and How to Perform Adversarial Training?


Published August 4, 2019

Xiaowei Jia, Sheng Li, Handong Zhao, Sungchul Kim, Vipin Kumar

The last decade has witnessed a surge of interest in applying deep learning models for discovering sequential patterns from a large volume of data. Recent works show that deep learning models can be further improved by enforcing models to learn a smooth output distribution around each data point. This can be achieved by augmenting training data with slight perturbations that are designed to alter model outputs. Such adversarial training approaches have shown much success in improving the generalization performance of deep learning models on static data, e.g., transaction data or image data captured on a single snapshot. However, when applied to sequential data, the standard adversarial training approaches cannot fully capture the discriminative structure of a sequence. This is because real-world sequential data are often collected over a long period of time and may include much irrelevant information to the classification task. To this end, we develop a novel adversarial training approach for sequential data classification by investigating when and how to perturb a sequence for an effective data augmentation. Finally, we demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method over baselines in a diversity of real-world sequential datasets.