First Workshop on Secure and Resilient Autonomy (SARA) – Co-located with MLSys 2020

Workshop Summary:

This workshop will bring classical system architecture and design
experts and AI/ML algorithmic experts together in one forum. The goal is
to brainstorm about challenges in designing secure and resilient
AI-centric systems in general, but with a special focus on autonomous
systems (such as self-driving cars and industrial robots) – where safety
and security are of paramount value. The knowledge and expertise of
classical mainframe and server architects who are experts in designing
ultra-reliable and secure systems will be blended with domain experts in
AI; particularly those with an established expertise in developing
reliable and secure AI algorithms. The organizers of this workshop
largely represent the classical system architects with expertise in
building robust and energy efficient systems. The program will be a
blend of talks selected from submitted abstracts and invited speakers.
The latter will largely feature experts in core AI algorithms,
especially those focused on adversarial robustness, few-shot learning,
immunity against catastrophic forgetfulness, etc.


Call for presentation abstracts:

This first workshop on SARA (Secure and Resilient Autonomy), at
MLSys 2020 will primarily focus on the security and reliability aspects
of AI-centric systems. Topics of interest include (but are not limited

• Resilience and security considerations in emerging new domains such as autonomous

vehicles, cognitive IoT swarms, as well as existing server-class and
embedded architectures for the AI and machine learning applications.

• Anomaly detection in AI-centric systems.

• Error and threat models; associated vulnerability assessment metrics.

• Design of secure and robust cloud-backed edge-architectures for machine learning


• Algorithmic techniques to improve training and inference in the presence of errors.

• Hardware-software co-design of resilient machine learning systems.

• Characterization of hardware and system-level vulnerabilities resulting in unplanned

failures and/or adversarial attacks.

• End-to-end resilience evaluation of real machine learning systems.

• Resilient design of distributed swarm-based architectures for machine learning.

• Lifelong learning, few-shot learning and mitigation of catastrophic forgetfulness.

• Energy efficiency and endurance in mobile and embedded AI architectures.


Researchers in this field are encouraged to submit an extended
abstract. We also encourage presentations showcasing prototype
demonstrations and open source contributions.




Important dates:

• Submission of presentation abstracts (max 2 pages): January 15th 2020.

• Notification of acceptance: January 27th 2020.

• Final 2-page (max) paper due: February 24th 2020.

• Workshop date: March 4th 2020.

• Workshop venue: Austin, TX (co-located with MLSys 2020).

• Website URL:



• Pradip Bose, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

• Nandhini Chandramoorthy, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

• Augusto Vega, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

• Karthik Swaminathan, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center


If you have questions regarding submission, please contact us:

Workshop Organization and Planning:

The workshop organizing committee has put together a program
committee that will assist in selecting papers (abstracts) submitted to
SARA. The program committee member names will be published online within
the next couple of weeks.

SARA 2020 : First Workshop on Secure and Resilient Autonomy