CounteRGAN: Generating Realistic Counterfactuals with Residual Generative Adversarial Nets

11 Sep 2020  ·  Daniel Nemirovsky, Nicolas Thiebaut, Ye Xu, Abhishek Gupta ·

The prevalence of machine learning models in various industries has led to growing demands for model interpretability and for the ability to provide meaningful recourse to users. For example, patients hoping to improve their diagnoses or loan applicants seeking to increase their chances of approval... Counterfactuals can help in this regard by identifying input perturbations that would result in more desirable prediction outcomes. Meaningful counterfactuals should be able to achieve the desired outcome, but also be realistic, actionable, and efficient to compute. Current approaches achieve desired outcomes with moderate actionability but are severely limited in terms of realism and latency. To tackle these limitations, we apply Generative Adversarial Nets (GANs) toward counterfactual search. We also introduce a novel Residual GAN (RGAN) that helps to improve counterfactual realism and actionability compared to regular GANs. The proposed CounteRGAN method utilizes an RGAN and a target classifier to produce counterfactuals capable of providing meaningful recourse. Evaluations on two popular datasets highlight how the CounteRGAN is able to overcome the limitations of existing methods, including latency improvements of >50x to >90,000x, making meaningful recourse available in real-time and applicable to a wide range of domains. read more

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