Computer Science Seminar: Securing Distributed Systems Against Adversarial Attacks

Plan to attend a computer science seminar on Wednesday, February 22 from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in Stuart Building, Room 239. Lili Su, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will deliver a lecture titled “Securing Distributed Systems Against Adversarial Attacks.”

Distributed systems are ubiquitous in both industry and our daily life. For example, we use clusters and networked workstations to analyze large amount of data, use the world wide web for information and resource sharing, and use the Internet of Things (IoT) to access a much wider variety of resources. In distributed systems, components are more vulnerable to adversarial attacks.

Su will model the distributed systems as multi-agent networks, and consider the most general attack model – the Byzantine fault model. In particular, this talk will focus on the problem of distributed learning over multi-agent networks, where agents repeatedly collect partially informative observations (samples) about an unknown state of the world, and try to collaboratively learn the true state. The seminar will focus on the impact of the Byzantine agents on the performance of consensus-based non-Bayesian learning. The goal is to design algorithms for the non-faulty agents to collaboratively learn the true state through local communication.

Su is a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working with Professor Nitin Vaidya on distributed computing. She expects to receive her Ph.D. degree in May 2017. Her research intersects distributed computing, security, optimization, and learning. She was one of the three nominees for the 2016 International Symposium on DIStributed Computing Best Student Paper Award. She received the 2015 International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems Best Student Paper Award. She also received the Sundaram Seshu International Student Fellowship for the academic year of 2016 to 2017 conferred by UIUC. In addition, she received the Outstanding Reviewer Award for her review service for IEEE Transactions on Communication in 2015.