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FairRR: Pre-Processing for Group Fairness through Randomized Response

Joshua Ward · Xianli Zeng · Guang Cheng

MR1 & MR2 - Number 78


The increasing usage of machine learning models in consequential decision-making processes has spurred research into the fairness of these systems. While significant work has been done to study group fairness in the in-processing and post-processing setting, there has been little that theoretically connects these results to the pre-processing domain. This paper extends recent fair statistical learning results and proposes that achieving group fairness in downstream models can be formulated as finding the optimal design matrix in which to modify a response variable in a Randomized Response framework. We show that measures of group fairness can be directly controlled for with optimal model utility, proposing a pre-processing algorithm called FairRR that yields excellent downstream model utility and fairness.

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