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Mitigating Nonlinear Algorithmic Bias in Binary Classification

conference contribution
posted on 2024-07-01, 00:55 authored by Wendy Wan Yee HuiWendy Wan Yee Hui, Wai Kwong Lau

This paper proposes the use of causal modeling to detect and mitigate algorithmic bias that is nonlinear in the protected attribute. We provide a general overview of our approach. We use the German Credit data set, which is available for download from the UC Irvine Machine Learning Repository, to develop (1) a prediction model, which is treated as a black box, and (2) a causal model for bias mitigation. In this paper, we focus on age bias and the problem of binary classification. We show that the probability of getting correctly classified as “low risk” is lowest among young people. The probability increases with age nonlinearly. To incorporate the nonlinearity into the causal model, we introduce a higher order polynomial term. Based on the fitted causal model, the de-biased probability estimates are computed, showing improved fairness with little impact on overall classification accuracy. Causal modeling is intuitive and, hence, its use can enhance explicability and promotes trust among different stakeholders of AI.


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IEEE Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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