PORE: Provably Robust Recommender Systems against Data Poisoning Attacks


Jinyuan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University; Yupei Liu, Yuepeng Hu, and Neil Zhenqiang Gong, Duke University


Data poisoning attacks spoof a recommender system to make arbitrary, attacker-desired recommendations via injecting fake users with carefully crafted rating scores into the recommender system. We envision a cat-and-mouse game for such data poisoning attacks and their defenses, i.e., new defenses are designed to defend against existing attacks and new attacks are designed to break them. To prevent such cat-and-mouse game, we propose PORE, the first framework to build provably robust recommender systems in this work. PORE can transform any existing recommender system to be provably robust against any untargeted data poisoning attacks, which aim to reduce the overall performance of a recommender system. Suppose PORE recommends top-N items to a user when there is no attack. We prove that PORE still recommends at least r of the N items to the user under any data poisoning attack, where r is a function of the number of fake users in the attack. Moreover, we design an efficient algorithm to compute r for each user. We empirically evaluate PORE on popular benchmark datasets.

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@inproceedings {291019,
author = {Jinyuan Jia and Yupei Liu and Yuepeng Hu and Neil Zhenqiang Gong},
title = {{PORE}: Provably Robust Recommender Systems against Data Poisoning Attacks},
booktitle = {32nd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-37-3},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {1703--1720},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity23/presentation/jia},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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