NIPS Proceedingsβ

Fairness Through Computationally-Bounded Awareness

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NIPS 2018)

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Conference Event Type: Poster


We study the problem of fair classification within the versatile framework of Dwork et al. [ITCS '12], which assumes the existence of a metric that measures similarity between pairs of individuals. Unlike earlier work, we do not assume that the entire metric is known to the learning algorithm; instead, the learner can query this *arbitrary* metric a bounded number of times. We propose a new notion of fairness called *metric multifairness* and show how to achieve this notion in our setting. Metric multifairness is parameterized by a similarity metric d on pairs of individuals to classify and a rich collection C of (possibly overlapping) "comparison sets" over pairs of individuals. At a high level, metric multifairness guarantees that *similar subpopulations are treated similarly*, as long as these subpopulations are identified within the class C.