ProPublica's analysis of recidivism predictions produced by Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) software tool for the task, has shown that the predictions were racially biased against African American defendants. We analyze the COMPAS data using a causal reformulation of the underlying algorithmic fairness problem. Specifically, we assess whether COMPAS exhibits racial bias against African American defendants using FACT, a recently introduced causality grounded measure of algorithmic fairness. We use the Neyman-Rubin potential outcomes framework for causal inference from observational data to estimate FACT from COMPAS data. Our analysis offers strong evidence that COMPAS exhibits racial bias against African American defendants. We further show that the FACT estimates from COMPAS data are robust in the presence of unmeasured confounding.
Published Date: 2020-06-02
Registration: ISSN 2374-3468 (Online) ISSN 2159-5399 (Print) ISBN 978-1-57735-835-0 (10 issue set)
Copyright: Published by AAAI Press, Palo Alto, California USA Copyright © 2020, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence All Rights Reserved