Learning Non-Discriminatory Predictors


Blake Woodworth, Suriya Gunasekar, Mesrob I. Ohannessian, Nathan Srebro ;
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 65:1920-1953, 2017.


We consider learning a predictor which is non-discriminatory with respect to a “protected attribute” according to the notion of “equalized odds” proposed by Hardt et al. (2016). We study the problem of learning such a non-discriminatory predictor from a finite training set, both statistically and computationally. We show that a post-hoc correction approach, as suggested by Hardt et al, can be highly suboptimal, present a nearly-optimal statistical procedure, argue that the associated computational problem is intractable, and suggest a second moment relaxation of the non-discrimination definition for which learning is tractable.

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