On the cost of essentially fair clusterings

Ioana O. Bercea, Samir Khuller, Clemens Rösner, Melanie Schmidt, Martin Groß, Aounon Kumar, Daniel R. Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clustering is a fundamental tool in data mining and machine learning. It partitions points into groups (clusters) and may be used to make decisions for each point based on its group. However, this process may harm protected (minority) classes if the clustering algorithm does not adequately represent them in desirable clusters – especially if the data is already biased. At NIPS 2017, Chierichetti et al. [18] proposed a model for fair clustering requiring the representation in each cluster to (approximately) preserve the global fraction of each protected class. Restricting to two protected classes, they developed both a 4-approximation for the fair k-center problem and a O(t)-approximation for the fair k-median problem, where t is a parameter for the fairness model. For multiple protected classes, the best known result is a 14-approximation for fair k-center [40]. We extend and improve the known results. Firstly, we give a 5-approximation for the fair k-center problem with multiple protected classes. Secondly, we propose a relaxed fairness notion under which we can give bicriteria constant-factor approximations for all of the classical clustering objectives k-center, k-supplier, k-median, k-means and facility location. The latter approximations are achieved by a framework that takes an arbitrary existing unfair (integral) solution and a fair (fractional) LP solution and combines them into an essentially fair clustering with a weakly supervised rounding scheme. In this way, a fair clustering can be established belatedly, in a situation where the centers are already fixed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApproximation, Randomization, and Combinatorial Optimization. Algorithms and Techniques, APPROX/RANDOM 2019
EditorsDimitris Achlioptas, Laszlo A. Vegh
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771252
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Event22nd International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems and 23rd International Conference on Randomization and Computation, APPROX/RANDOM 2019 - Cambridge, United States
Duration: Sep 20 2019Sep 22 2019

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
Volume145
ISSN (Print)1868-8969

Conference

Conference22nd International Conference on Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems and 23rd International Conference on Randomization and Computation, APPROX/RANDOM 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCambridge
Period9/20/199/22/19

Keywords

  • Approximation
  • Clustering
  • Fairness
  • LP rounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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