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Sequential Strategic Screening

Lee Cohen · Saeed Sharifi-Malvajerdi · Kevin Stangl · Ali Vakilian · Juba Ziani

Exhibit Hall 1 #441
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We initiate the study of strategic behavior in screening processes with multiple classifiers. We focus on two contrasting settings: a "conjunctive'' setting in which an individual must satisfy all classifiers simultaneously, and a sequential setting in which an individual to succeed must satisfy classifiers one at a time. In other words, we introduce the combination of strategic classificationwith screening processes. We show that sequential screening pipelines exhibit new and surprising behavior where individuals can exploit the sequential ordering of the tests to "zig-zag'' between classifiers without having to simultaneously satisfy all of them. We demonstrate an individual can obtain a positive outcome using a limited manipulation budget even when far from the intersection of the positive regions of every classifier. Finally, we consider a learner whose goal is to design a sequential screening process that is robust to such manipulations, and provide a construction for the learner that optimizes a natural objective.

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