Identification of Subgroups With Similar Benefits in Off-Policy Policy Evaluation

28 Nov 2021  ·  Ramtin Keramati, Omer Gottesman, Leo Anthony Celi, Finale Doshi-Velez, Emma Brunskill ·

Off-policy policy evaluation methods for sequential decision making can be used to help identify if a proposed decision policy is better than a current baseline policy. However, a new decision policy may be better than a baseline policy for some individuals but not others. This has motivated a push towards personalization and accurate per-state estimates of heterogeneous treatment effects (HTEs). Given the limited data present in many important applications, individual predictions can come at a cost to accuracy and confidence in such predictions. We develop a method to balance the need for personalization with confident predictions by identifying subgroups where it is possible to confidently estimate the expected difference in a new decision policy relative to a baseline. We propose a novel loss function that accounts for uncertainty during the subgroup partitioning phase. In experiments, we show that our method can be used to form accurate predictions of HTEs where other methods struggle.

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