Null it out: Guarding protected attributes by iterative nullspace projection

Shauli Ravfogel, Yanai Elazar, Hila Gonen, Michael Twiton, Yoav Goldberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to control for the kinds of information encoded in neural representation has a variety of use cases, especially in light of the challenge of interpreting these models. We present Iterative Null-space Projection (INLP), a novel method for removing information from neural representations. Our method is based on repeated training of linear classifiers that predict a certain property we aim to remove, followed by projection of the representations on their null-space. By doing so, the classifiers become oblivious to that target property, making it hard to linearly separate the data according to it. While applicable for multiple uses, we evaluate our method on bias and fairness use-cases, and show that our method is able to mitigate bias in word embeddings, as well as to increase fairness in a setting of multi-class classification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACL 2020 - 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages7237-7256
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781952148255
StatePublished - 2020
Event58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 5 Jul 202010 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
ISSN (Print)0736-587X

Conference

Conference58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/07/2010/07/20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jacob Goldberger and Jonathan Berant for fruitful discussions. This project received funding from the Europoean Research Council (ERC) under the Europoean Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No. 802774 (iEXTRACT).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for Computational Linguistics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Null it out: Guarding protected attributes by iterative nullspace projection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this