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We show that two mainstream prediction techniques, support vector machines and decision trees, are easily subverted by inserting carefully-chosen training records. Furthermore, the relationship between the properties of the inserted record(s) and the regions for which the predictor will subsequently misclassify can be inferred, so desired misclassifications can be forced. In adversarial settings, it is plausible that manipulation of this kind will be attempted, so this has implications for the design of prediction systems and the use of off-the-shelf technology, especially as support vector machines are one of the most powerful prediction algorithms known.
Date of Conference: 17-20 June 2008