Path-Specific Counterfactual Fairness
We consider the problem of learning fair decision systems from data in which a sensitive attribute might affect the decision along both fair and unfair pathways. We introduce a counterfactual approach to disregard effects along unfair pathways that does not incur in the same loss of individual-specific information as previous approaches. Our method corrects observations adversely affected by the sensitive attribute, and uses these to form a decision. We leverage recent developments in deep learning and approximate inference to develop a VAE-type method that is widely applicable to complex nonlinear models.