Attention Meets Perturbations: Robust and Interpretable Attention with Adversarial Training


Although attention mechanisms have been applied to a variety of deep learning models and have been shown to improve the prediction performance, it has been reported to be vulnerable to perturbations to the mechanism. To overcome the vulnerability to perturbations in the mechanism, we are inspired by adversarial training (AT), which is a powerful regularization technique for enhancing the robustness of the models. In this paper, we propose a general training technique for natural language processing tasks, including AT for attention (Attention AT) and more interpretable AT for attention (Attention iAT). The proposed techniques improved the prediction performance and the model interpretability by exploiting the mechanisms with AT. In particular, Attention iAT boosts those advantages by introducing adversarial perturbation, which enhances the difference in the attention of the sentences. Evaluation experiments with ten open datasets revealed that AT for attention mechanisms, especially Attention iAT, demonstrated (1) the best performance in nine out of ten tasks and (2) more interpretable attention (i.e., the resulting attention correlated more strongly with gradient-based word importance) for all tasks. Additionally, the proposed techniques are (3) much less dependent on perturbation size in AT.

IEEE Access

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Shunsuke Kitada, Ph.D.
Shunsuke Kitada, Ph.D.
Research Scientist working on Vision & Language with Deep Learning

My research interests include deep learning-based natural language processing, computer vision, medical image processing, and computational advertising.