Workshop: Causal Inference & Machine Learning: Why now?

On the Robustness of Causal Algorithmic Recourse

Ricardo Dominguez-Olmedo · Amir Karimi · Bernhard Schölkopf


Algorithmic recourse seeks to provide actionable recommendations for individuals to overcome unfavorable outcomes made by automated decision-making systems. The individual then exerts time and effort to positively change their circumstances. Recourse recommendations should ideally be robust to reasonably small changes in the circumstances (similar individuals, updated classifier in light of larger datasets, and updated causal assumptions about the world). In this work, we formulate the robust recourse problem, derive bounds on the extra cost incurred by individuals seeking robust recourse subject to both linear and nonlinear assumptions, and discuss how to regulate this cost between the individual and the decision-maker.

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