Tag Archives: François

Talk in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Insurance Data Science Conference

This week, I will attend the Insurance Data Science conference in Sweeden. It has been a while… I was a keynote speaker at the one in London, ten years ago (to give a talk I still have feedbacks about – Getting into Bayesian Wizardry… (with the eyes of a muggle actuary) – by that time, the conference was “R in Insurance”), and then, we organized the one in Paris, back in 2017. Then we had the online events, but it was… different.

This time, I will get back to our recent paper A Sequentially Fair Mechanism for Multiple Sensitive Attributes, with François Hu and Philipp Ratz, and the equipy package, wrote with Agathe Fernandes-Machado and Suzie Grondin. The slides are available online.

Geospatial Disparities: A Case Study on Real Estate Prices in Paris

Our paper, Geospatial Disparities: A Case Study on Real Estate Prices in Paris, and Agathe Fernandes Machado, François Hu, Philipp Ratz and Ewen Gallic, is now online on ArXiv,

Driven by an increasing prevalence of trackers, ever more IoT sensors, and the declining cost of computing power, geospatial information has come to play a pivotal role in contemporary predictive models. While enhancing prognostic performance, geospatial data also has the potential to perpetuate many historical socio-economic patterns, raising concerns about a resurgence of biases and exclusionary practices, with their disproportionate impacts on society. Addressing this, our paper emphasizes the crucial need to identify and rectify such biases and calibration errors in predictive models, particularly as algorithms become more intricate and less interpretable. The increasing granularity of geospatial information further introduces ethical concerns, as choosing different geographical scales may exacerbate disparities akin to redlining and exclusionary zoning. To address these issues, we propose a toolkit for identifying and mitigating biases arising from geospatial data. Extending classical fairness definitions, we incorporate an ordinal regression case with spatial attributes, deviating from the binary classification focus. This extension allows us to gauge disparities stemming from data aggregation levels and advocates for a less interfering correction approach. Illustrating our methodology using a Parisian real estate dataset, we showcase practical applications and scrutinize the implications of choosing geographical aggregation levels for fairness and calibration measures.

Talk at the 38th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, in Vancouver

This week, François is in Vancouver, at the 38th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence,

presenting our joint work on Sequentially Fair Mechanism for Multiple Sensitive Attributes,

In the standard use case of Algorithmic Fairness, the goal is to eliminate the relationship between a sensitive variable and a corresponding score. Throughout recent years, the scientific community has developed a host of definitions and tools to solve this task, which work well in many practical applications. However, the applicability and effectivity of these tools and definitions becomes less straightfoward in the case of multiple sensitive attributes. To tackle this issue, we propose a sequential framework, which allows to progressively achieve fairness across a set of sensitive features. We accomplish this by leveraging multi-marginal Wasserstein barycenters, which extends the standard notion of Strong Demographic Parity to the case with multiple sensitive characteristics. This method also provides a closed-form solution for the optimal, sequentially fair predictor, permitting a clear interpretation of inter-sensitive feature correlations. Our approach seamlessly extends to approximate fairness, enveloping a framework accommodating the trade-off between risk and unfairness. This extension permits a targeted prioritization of fairness improvements for a specific attribute within a set of sensitive attributes, allowing for a case specific adaptation. A data-driven estimation procedure for the derived solution is developed, and comprehensive numerical experiments are conducted on both synthetic and real datasets. Our empirical findings decisively underscore the practical efficacy of our post-processing approach in fostering fair decision-making.

 

From Uncertainty to Precision: Enhancing Binary Classifier Performance through Calibration

Our paper From Uncertainty to Precision: Enhancing Binary Classifier Performance through Calibration, written with Agathe Fernandes Machadoa, Emmanuel Flachaire, Ewen Gallic and François Hu is now online on ArXiv,

The assessment of binary classifier performance traditionally centers on discriminative ability using metrics, such as accuracy. However, these metrics often disregard the model’s inherent uncertainty, especially when dealing with sensitive decision-making domains, such as finance or healthcare. Given that model-predicted scores are commonly seen as event probabilities, calibration is crucial for accurate interpretation. In our study, we analyze the sensitivity of various calibration measures to score distortions and introduce a refined metric, the Local Calibration Score. Comparing recalibration methods, we advocate for local regressions, emphasizing their dual role as effective recalibration tools and facilitators of smoother visualizations. We apply these findings in a real-world scenario using Random Forest classifier and regressor to predict credit default while simultaneously measuring calibration during performance optimization.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Good news: ou paper, A Sequentially Fair Mechanism for Multiple Sensitive Attributes, written with Philipp Ratz and François Hu will be presented in February in Vancouver, at the 38th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. For a shorter version, there was a review on montrealethics.ai of the paper last week (as mentioned previously).

Also, last week also, the team launched the  equipy python package, with codes used in the paper,

pip install equipy

EquiPy is a Python package implementing sequential fairness on the predicted outputs of Machine Learning models, when dealing with multiple sensitive attributes. This post-processing method progressively achieve fairness accross a set of sensitive features by leveraging multi-marginal Wasserstein barycenters, which extends the standard notion of Strong Demographic Parity to the case with multiple sensitive characteristics. This approach seamlessly extends to approximate fairness, enveloping a framework accommodating the trade-off between performance and unfairness.

(from the left to the right, Agathe, who just joint the PhD program, Suzie, MSc student at ENSAE, with us since May or June, Philipp, PhD student, François, postdoctoral fellow – and Dante, also postdoctoral fellow, in stochastic processes). According to Aristotle (or probably slightly misquoted),

the whole is greater than the sum of the parts

I couldn’t agree more !

A Sequentially Fair Mechanism for Multiple Sensitive Attributes

Nice review of our paper, with Philipp Ratz and François Hu, on montrealethics.ai.

Ask a group of people which biases in machine learning should be reduced, and you are likely to be showered with suggestions, making it difficult to decide where to start. To enable an objective discussion, we study a way to sequentially get rid of biases and propose a tool that can efficiently analyze the effects that the order of correction has on outcomes.

A Sequentially Fair Mechanism for Multiple Sensitive Attributes

Addressing Fairness and Explainability in Image Classification Using Optimal Transport

Our new paper, with François Hu and Philipp Ratz, Addressing Fairness and Explainability in Image Classification Using Optimal Transport, is now available on ArXiv.

Algorithmic Fairness and the explainability of potentially unfair outcomes are crucial for establishing trust and accountability of Artificial Intelligence systems in domains such as healthcare and policing. Though significant advances have been made in each of the fields separately, achieving explainability in fairness applications remains challenging, particularly so in domains where deep neural networks are used. At the same time, ethical data-mining has become ever more relevant, as it has been shown countless times that fairness-unaware algorithms result in biased outcomes. Current approaches focus on mitigating biases in the outcomes of the model, but few attempts have been made to try to explain why a model is biased. To bridge this gap, we propose a comprehensive approach that leverages optimal transport theory to uncover the causes and implications of biased regions in images, which easily extends to tabular data as well. Through the use of Wasserstein barycenters, we obtain scores that are independent of a sensitive variable but keep their marginal orderings. This step ensures predictive accuracy but also helps us to recover the regions most associated with the generation of the biases. Our findings hold significant implications for the development of trustworthy and unbiased AI systems, fostering transparency, accountability, and fairness in critical decision-making scenarios across diverse domains.

Mitigating Discrimination in Insurance with Wasserstein Barycenters

Our new paper, with François Hu and Philipp Ratz, Mitigating Discrimination in Insurance with Wasserstein Barycenters is now available on ArXiv.

The insurance industry is heavily reliant on predictions of risks based on characteristics of potential customers. Although the use of said models is common, researchers have long pointed out that such practices perpetuate discrimination based on sensitive features such as gender or race. Given that such discrimination can often be attributed to historical data biases, an elimination or at least mitigation is desirable. With the shift from more traditional models to machine-learning based predictions, calls for greater mitigation have grown anew, as simply excluding sensitive variables in the pricing process can be shown to be ineffective. In this article, we first investigate why predictions are a necessity within the industry and why correcting biases is not as straightforward as simply identifying a sensitive variable. We then propose to ease the biases through the use of Wasserstein barycenters instead of simple scaling. To demonstrate the effects and effectiveness of the approach we employ it on real data and discuss its implications.

(fictitious maps used in the article)

Fairness in Multi-Task Learning via Wasserstein Barycenters

Our new paper, with François Hu and Philipp Ratz, Fairness in Multi-Task Learning via Wasserstein Barycenters, is now available.

Algorithmic Fairness is an established field in machine learning that aims to reduce biases in data. Recent advances have proposed various methods to ensure fairness in a univariate environment, where the goal is to de-bias a single task. However, extending fairness to a multi-task setting, where more than one objective is optimised using a shared representation, remains underexplored. To bridge this gap, we develop a method that extends the definition of Strong Demographic Parity to multi-task learning using multi-marginal Wasserstein barycenters. Our approach provides a closed form solution for the optimal fair multi-task predictor including both regression and binary classification tasks. We develop a data-driven estimation procedure for the solution and run numerical experiments on both synthetic and real datasets. The empirical results highlight the practical value of our post-processing methodology in promoting fair decision-making.

It will be presented in September, at the European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECML PKDD 2023), in Torino.