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A Fair Classifier Using Kernel Density Estimation
Jaewoong Cho · Gyeongjo Hwang · Changho Suh

Wed Dec 09 09:00 PM -- 11:00 PM (PST) @ Poster Session 4 #1184

As machine learning becomes prevalent in a widening array of sensitive applications such as job hiring and criminal justice, one critical aspect that machine learning classifiers should respect is to ensure fairness: guaranteeing the irrelevancy of a prediction output to sensitive attributes such as gender and race. In this work, we develop a kernel density estimation trick to quantify fairness measures that capture the degree of the irrelevancy. A key feature of our approach is that quantified fairness measures can be expressed as differentiable functions w.r.t. classifier model parameters. This then allows us to enjoy prominent gradient descent to readily solve an interested optimization problem that fully respects fairness constraints. We focus on a binary classification setting and two well-known definitions of group fairness: Demographic Parity (DP) and Equalized Odds (EO). Our experiments both on synthetic and benchmark real datasets demonstrate that our algorithm outperforms prior fair classifiers in accuracy-fairness tradeoff performance both w.r.t. DP and EO.

Author Information

Jaewoong Cho (KAIST)
Gyeongjo Hwang (KAIST)
Changho Suh (KAIST)

Changho Suh is an Ewon Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He recevied the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from KAIST in 2000 and 2002 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC-Berkeley in 2011, under the supervision of Prof. David Tse. From 2011 to 2012, he was a postdoctoral associate at the Research Laboratory of Electronics in MIT. From 2002 to 2006, he had been with the Telecommunication R&D Center, Samsung Electronics. Dr. Suh received the 2015 IEIE Hadong Young Engineer Award, a 2015 Bell Labs Prize finalist, the 2013 IEEE Communications Society Stephen O. Rice Prize, the 2011 David J. Sakrison Memorial Prize (top research award in the UC-Berkeley EECS Department), and the 2009 IEEE ISIT Best Student Paper Award.

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