On the Impact of Algorithmic Recourse on Social Segregation
Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 202:10727-10743, 2023.
As predictive models seep into several real-world applications, it has become critical to ensure that individuals who are negatively impacted by the outcomes of these models are provided with a means for recourse. To this end, there has been a growing body of research on algorithmic recourse in recent years. While recourses can be extremely beneficial to affected individuals, their implementation at a large scale can lead to potential data distribution shifts and other unintended consequences. However, there is little to no research on understanding the impact of algorithmic recourse after implementation. In this work, we address the aforementioned gaps by making one of the first attempts at analyzing the delayed societal impact of algorithmic recourse. To this end, we theoretically and empirically analyze the recourses output by state-of-the-art algorithms. Our analysis demonstrates that large-scale implementation of recourses by end users may exacerbate social segregation. To address this problem, we propose novel algorithms which leverage implicit and explicit conditional generative models to not only minimize the chance of segregation but also provide realistic recourses. Extensive experimentation with real-world datasets demonstrates the efficacy of the proposed approaches.