FaiREE: Fair Classification with Finite-Sample and Distribution-Free Guarantee

Abstract

Algorithmic fairness plays an increasingly critical role in machine learning research. Several group fairness notions and algorithms have been proposed. However, the fairness guarantee of existing fair classification methods mainly depend on specific data distributional assumptions, often requiring large sample sizes, and fairness could be violated when there is a modest number of samples, which is often the case in practice. In this paper, we propose FaiREE, a fair classification algorithm which can satisfy group fairness constraints with finite-sample and distribution-free theoretical guarantees. FaiREE can be adapted to satisfying various group fairness notions (e.g., Equality of Opportunity, Equalized Odds, Demographic Parity, etc.) and achieve the optimal accuracy. These theoretical guarantees are further supported by experiments on both synthetic and real data. FaiREE is shown to have favorable performance over state-of-the-art algorithms.

Publication
Under review at The International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR 2023)

Oral & Poster Presentation at The 5th Peking University Graduate Student Forum for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies