Workshop: Trustworthy and Socially Responsible Machine Learning

Improving Fairness in Image Classification via Sketching

Ruichen Yao · cui ziteng · Xiaoxiao Li · Lin Gu


Fairness is a fundamental requirement for trustworthy and human-centered Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. However, deep neural networks (DNNs) tend to make unfair predictions when the training data are collected from different sub-populations with different attributes (i.e. color, sex, age), leading to biased DNN predictions. We notice that such a troubling phenomenon is often caused by data itself, which means that bias information is encoded to the DNN along with the useful information (i.e. class information, semantic information). Therefore, we propose to use sketching to handle this phenomenon. Without losing the utility of data, we explore the image-to-sketching methods that can maintain the useful semantic information for the targeted classification while filtering out the useless bias information. In addition, we design a fair loss for further improving the model fairness. We evaluate our method on extensive experiments on both general scene dataset and medical scene dataset. Our results show that the desired image-to-sketching method improves model fairness and achieves satisfactory results among state-of-the-art (SOTA). Our code would be released based on acceptance.

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