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A Bayesian Causal Inference Approach for Assessing Fairness in Clinical Decision-Making
Linying Zhang · Lauren Richter · Yixin Wang · Anna Ostropolets · Noemie Elhadad · David Blei · George Hripcsak

Fairness in clinical decision-making is a critical element of health equity, but assessing fairness of clinical decisions from observational data is challenging. Recently, many fairness notions have been proposed to quantify fairness in decision-making, among which causality-based fairness notions have gained increasing attention due to its potential in adjusting for confounding and reasoning about bias. However, causal fairness notions remain under-explored in the context of clinical decision-making with large-scale healthcare data. In this work, we propose a Bayesian causal inference approach for assessing a causal fairness notion called principal fairness in clinical settings. We demonstrate our approach using both simulated data and electronic health records (EHR) data.

Author Information

Linying Zhang (Columbia University)
Lauren Richter (Columbia University)
Yixin Wang (University of Michigan)
Anna Ostropolets (Columbia University)
Noemie Elhadad (Columbia University)
David Blei (Columbia University)

David Blei is a Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Columbia University, and a member of the Columbia Data Science Institute. His research is in statistical machine learning, involving probabilistic topic models, Bayesian nonparametric methods, and approximate posterior inference algorithms for massive data. He works on a variety of applications, including text, images, music, social networks, user behavior, and scientific data. David has received several awards for his research, including a Sloan Fellowship (2010), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2011), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2011), Blavatnik Faculty Award (2013), and ACM-Infosys Foundation Award (2013). He is a fellow of the ACM.

George Hripcsak (Columbia University)

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