Equal Opportunity of Coverage in Fair Regression

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Equal Opportunity; Fair Machine Learning; Conformal Prediction; Uncertainty Quantification
TL;DR: We propose Equal Opportunity of Coverage (EOC) for fair ML under uncertainty and develop methods to measure and improve it.
Abstract: We study fair machine learning (ML) under predictive uncertainty to enable reliable and trustworthy decision-making. The seminal work of 'equalized coverage' proposed an uncertainty-aware fairness notion. However, it does not guarantee equal coverage rates across more fine-grained groups (e.g., low-income females) conditioning on the true label and is biased in the assessment of uncertainty. To tackle these limitations, we propose a new uncertainty-aware fairness -- Equal Opportunity of Coverage (EOC) -- that aims to achieve two properties: (1) coverage rates for different groups with similar outcomes are close, and (2) the coverage rate for the entire population remains at a predetermined level. Further, the prediction intervals should be narrow to be informative. We propose Binned Fair Quantile Regression (BFQR), a distribution-free post-processing method to improve EOC with reasonable width for any trained ML models. It first calibrates a hold-out set to bound deviation from EOC, then leverages conformal prediction to maintain EOC on a test set, meanwhile optimizing prediction interval width. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in improving EOC.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 14602