Too Relaxed to Be Fair

Jul 12, 2020

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We address the problem of classification under fairness constraints. Given a notion of fairness, the goal is to learn a classifier that is not discriminatory against a group of individuals. In the literature, this problem is often formulated as a constrained optimization problem and solved using relaxations of the fairness constraints. We show that many existing relaxations are unsatisfactory: even if a model satisfies the relaxed constraint, it can be surprisingly unfair. We propose a principled framework to solve this problem. This new approach uses a strongly convex formulation and comes with theoretical guarantees on the fairness of its solution. In practice, we show that this method gives promising results on real data.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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