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Isabel Valera, Saarland University Saarbr├╝cken, Department of Computer Science, ONLINE

Event Date: January 19, 2022 11:0

Algorithmic recourse: from theory to practice

Abstract - In this talk I will introduce the concept of algorithmic recourse, which aims to help individuals affected by an unfavorable algorithmic decision to recover from it. First, I will show that while the concept of algorithmic recourse is strongly related to counterfactual explanations, existing methods for the later do not directly provide practical solutions for algorithmic recourse, as they do not account for the causal mechanisms governing the world. Then, I will show theoretical results that prove the need of complete causal knowledge to guarantee recourse and show how algorithmic recourse can be useful to provide novel fairness definitions that short the focus from the algorithm to the data distribution. Such novel definition of fairness allows us to distinguish between situations where unfairness can be better addressed by societal intervention, as opposed to changes on the classifiers. Finally, I will show practical solutions for (fairness in) algorithmic recourse, in realistic scenarios where the causal knowledge is only limited.

Biographie - I am a full Professor on Machine Learning at the Department of Computer Science of Saarland University in Saarbrücken (Germany), and Adjunct Faculty at MPI for Software Systems in Saarbrücken (Germany). I am a fellow of the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems ( ELLIS), where I am part of the Robust Machine Learning Program and of the Saarbrücken Artificial Intelligence & Machine learning (Sam) Unit. Prior to this, I was an independent group leader at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen (Germany) until the end of the year. I have held a German Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and a “Minerva fast track” fellowship from the Max Planck Society. I obtained my PhD in 2014 and MSc degree in 2012 from the University Carlos III in Madrid (Spain), and worked as postdoctoral researcher at the MPI for Software Systems (Germany) and at the University of Cambridge (UK).


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