Metric Learning for Individual Fairness

Christina Ilvento

There has been much discussion recently about how fairness should be measured or enforced in classification. Individual Fairness [Dwork, Hardt, Pitassi, Reingold, Zemel, 2012], which requires that similar individuals be treated similarly, is a highly appealing definition as it gives strong guarantees on treatment of individuals. Unfortunately, the need for a task-specific similarity metric has prevented its use in practice. In this work, we propose a solution to the problem of approximating a metric for Individual Fairness based on human judgments. Our model assumes that we have access to a human fairness arbiter, who can answer a limited set of queries concerning similarity of individuals for a particular task, is free of explicit biases and possesses sufficient domain knowledge to evaluate similarity. Our contributions include definitions for metric approximation relevant for Individual Fairness, constructions for approximations from a limited number of realistic queries to the arbiter on a sample of individuals, and learning procedures to construct hypotheses for metric approximations which generalize to unseen samples under certain assumptions of learnability of distance threshold functions.

Knowledge Graph



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