As machine learning models find increasing use in the real world, ensuring their safe and reliable deployment depends on ensuring their robustness to distribution shift. This is especially true for sequential data, which occurs naturally in various data domains such as natural language processing, healthcare, computational biology, and finance. However, building models for sequence data which are robust to distribution shifts presents a unique challenge. Sequential data are often discrete rather than continuous, exhibit difficult to characterize distributions, and can display a much greater range of types of distributional shifts. Although many methods for improving model robustness exist for imaging or tabular data, extending these methods to sequential data is a challenging research direction that often requires fundamentally different techniques.
This workshop aims to facilitate progress towards improving the distributional robustness of models trained on sequential data by bringing together researchers to tackle a wide variety of research questions including, but not limited to:
(1) How well do existing robustness methods work on sequential data, and why do they succeed or fail?
(2) How can we leverage the sequential nature of the data to develop novel and distributionally robust methods?
(3) How do we construct and utilize formalisms for distribution shifts in sequential data?
We hope that this workshop provides a first step towards improving the robustness, and ultimately safety and reliability, of models in sequential data domains.
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