Adversarial Removal of Demographic Attributes Revisited

Maria Barrett, Yova Kementchedjhieva, Yanai Elazar, Desmond Elliott, Anders Søgaard


Abstract
Elazar and Goldberg (2018) showed that protected attributes can be extracted from the representations of a debiased neural network for mention detection at above-chance levels, by evaluating a diagnostic classifier on a held-out subsample of the data it was trained on. We revisit their experiments and conduct a series of follow-up experiments showing that, in fact, the diagnostic classifier generalizes poorly to both new in-domain samples and new domains, indicating that it relies on correlations specific to their particular data sample. We further show that a diagnostic classifier trained on the biased baseline neural network also does not generalize to new samples. In other words, the biases detected in Elazar and Goldberg (2018) seem restricted to their particular data sample, and would therefore not bias the decisions of the model on new samples, whether in-domain or out-of-domain. In light of this, we discuss better methodologies for detecting bias in our models.
Anthology ID:
D19-1662
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)
Month:
November
Year:
2019
Address:
Hong Kong, China
Venues:
EMNLP | IJCNLP
SIG:
SIGDAT
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
6330–6335
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/D19-1662
DOI:
10.18653/v1/D19-1662
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http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/D19-1662.pdf
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