Efficient first-order predictor-corrector multiple objective optimization for fair misinformation detection

Eric Enouen, Katja Mathesius, Sean Wang, Arielle Carr, Sihong Xie

Multiple-objective optimization (MOO) aims to simultaneously optimize multiple conflicting objectives and has found important applications in machine learning, such as minimizing classification loss and discrepancy in treating different populations for fairness. At optimality, further optimizing one objective will necessarily harm at least another objective, and decision-makers need to comprehensively explore multiple optima (called Pareto front) to pinpoint one final solution. We address the efficiency of finding the Pareto front. First, finding the front from scratch using stochastic multi-gradient descent (SMGD) is expensive with large neural networks and datasets. We propose to explore the Pareto front as a manifold from a few initial optima, based on a predictor-corrector method. Second, for each exploration step, the predictor solves a large-scale linear system that scales quadratically in the number of model parameters and requires one backpropagation to evaluate a second-order Hessian-vector product per iteration of the solver. We propose a Gauss-Newton approximation that only scales linearly, and that requires only first-order inner-product per iteration. This also allows for a choice between the MINRES and conjugate gradient methods when approximately solving the linear system. The innovations make predictor-corrector possible for large networks. Experiments on multi-objective (fairness and accuracy) misinformation detection tasks show that 1) the predictor-corrector method can find Pareto fronts better than or similar to SMGD with less time; and 2) the proposed first-order method does not harm the quality of the Pareto front identified by the second-order method, while further reduce running time.

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