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Collaborative Causal Inference with Fair Incentives

Rui Qiao · Xinyi Xu · Bryan Kian Hsiang Low

Exhibit Hall 1 #422
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Collaborative causal inference (CCI) aims to improve the estimation of the causal effect of treatment variables by utilizing data aggregated from multiple self-interested parties. Since their source data are valuable proprietary assets that can be costly or tedious to obtain, every party has to be incentivized to be willing to contribute to the collaboration, such as with a guaranteed fair and sufficiently valuable reward (than performing causal inference on its own). This paper presents a reward scheme designed using the unique statistical properties that are required by causal inference to guarantee certain desirable incentive criteria (e.g., fairness, benefit) for the parties based on their contributions. To achieve this, we propose a data valuation function to value parties' data for CCI based on the distributional closeness of its resulting treatment effect estimate to that utilizing the aggregated data from all parties. Then, we show how to value the parties' rewards fairly based on a modified variant of the Shapley value arising from our proposed data valuation for CCI. Finally, the Shapley fair rewards to the parties are realized in the form of improved, stochastically perturbed treatment effect estimates. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our reward scheme using simulated and real-world datasets.

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