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Versatile Verification of Tree Ensembles

Laurens Devos · Wannes Meert · Jesse Davis

Keywords: [ Boosting and Ensemble Methods ] [ Algorithms ]


Machine learned models often must abide by certain requirements (e.g., fairness or legal). This has spurred interested in developing approaches that can provably verify whether a model satisfies certain properties. This paper introduces a generic algorithm called Veritas that enables tackling multiple different verification tasks for tree ensemble models like random forests (RFs) and gradient boosted decision trees (GBDTs). This generality contrasts with previous work, which has focused exclusively on either adversarial example generation or robustness checking. Veritas formulates the verification task as a generic optimization problem and introduces a novel search space representation. Veritas offers two key advantages. First, it provides anytime lower and upper bounds when the optimization problem cannot be solved exactly. In contrast, many existing methods have focused on exact solutions and are thus limited by the verification problem being NP-complete. Second, Veritas produces full (bounded suboptimal) solutions that can be used to generate concrete examples. We experimentally show that our method produces state-of-the-art robustness estimates, especially when executed with strict time constraints. This is exceedingly important when checking the robustness of large datasets. Additionally, we show that Veritas enables tackling more real-world verification scenarios.

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