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Characterizing Fairness Over the Set of Good Models Under Selective Labels

Amanda Coston · Ashesh Rambachan · Alexandra Chouldechova


Keywords: [ Social Aspects of Machine Learning ] [ Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency ]


Algorithmic risk assessments are used to inform decisions in a wide variety of high-stakes settings. Often multiple predictive models deliver similar overall performance but differ markedly in their predictions for individual cases, an empirical phenomenon known as the Rashomon Effect.'' These models may have different properties over various groups, and therefore have different predictive fairness properties. We develop a framework for characterizing predictive fairness properties over the set of models that deliver similar overall performance, orthe set of good models.'' Our framework addresses the empirically relevant challenge of selectively labelled data in the setting where the selection decision and outcome are unconfounded given the observed data features. Our framework can be used to 1) audit for predictive bias; or 2) replace an existing model with one that has better fairness properties. We illustrate these use cases on a recidivism prediction task and a real-world credit-scoring task.

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