Keywords: [ Learning Theory ] [ Statistical Learning Theory ] [ Supervised Learning ]
Shapley value is a classic notion from game theory, historically used to quantify the contributions of individuals within groups, and more recently applied to assign values to data points when training machine learning models. Despite its foundational role, a key limitation of the data Shapley framework is that it only provides valuations for points within a fixed data set. It does not account for statistical aspects of the data and does not give a way to reason about points outside the data set. To address these limitations, we propose a novel framework -- distributional Shapley -- where the value of a point is defined in the context of an underlying data distribution. We prove that distributional Shapley has several desirable statistical properties; for example, the values are stable under perturbations to the data points themselves and to the underlying data distribution. We leverage these properties to develop a new algorithm for estimating values from data, which comes with formal guarantees and runs two orders of magnitude faster than state-of-the-art algorithms for computing the (non-distributional) data Shapley values. We apply distributional Shapley to diverse data sets and demonstrate its utility in a data market setting.