Demographic Parity: Mitigating Biases in Real-World Data

Paper by Orestis Loukas, and Ho-Ryun Chung: “Computer-based decision systems are widely used to automate decisions in many aspects of everyday life, which include sensitive areas like hiring, loaning and even criminal sentencing. A decision pipeline heavily relies on large volumes of historical real-world data for training its models. However, historical training data often contains gender, racial or other biases which are propagated to the trained models influencing computer-based decisions. In this work, we propose a robust methodology that guarantees the removal of unwanted biases while maximally preserving classification utility. Our approach can always achieve this in a model-independent way by deriving from real-world data the asymptotic dataset that uniquely encodes demographic parity and realism. As a proof-of-principle, we deduce from public census records such an asymptotic dataset from which synthetic samples can be generated to train well-established classifiers. Benchmarking the generalization capability of these classifiers trained on our synthetic data, we confirm the absence of any explicit or implicit bias in the computer-aided decision…(More)”.