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From Predictions to Decisions: Using Lookahead Regularization
Nir Rosenfeld · Anna Hilgard · Sai Srivatsa Ravindranath · David Parkes

Wed Dec 09 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 3 #1075

Machine learning is a powerful tool for predicting human-related outcomes, from creditworthiness to heart attack risks. But when deployed transparently, learned models also affect how users act in order to improve outcomes. The standard approach to learning predictive models is agnostic to induced user actions and provides no guarantees as to the effect of actions. We provide a framework for learning predictors that are accurate, while also considering interactions between the learned model and user decisions. For this, we introduce look-ahead regularization which, by anticipating user actions, encourages predictive models to also induce actions that improve outcomes. This regularization carefully tailors the uncertainty estimates that govern confidence in this improvement to the distribution of model-induced actions. We report the results of experiments on real and synthetic data that show the effectiveness of this approach.

Author Information

Nir Rosenfeld (Harvard University)
Sophie Hilgard (Harvard University)
Sai Ravindranath (Harvard University)
David Parkes (Harvard University)

David C. Parkes is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He was the recipient of the NSF Career Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the Thouron Scholarship and the Harvard University Roslyn Abramson Award for Teaching. Parkes received his Ph.D. degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and an M.Eng. (First class) in Engineering and Computing Science from Oxford University in 1995. At Harvard, Parkes leads the EconCS group and teaches classes in artificial intelligence, optimization, and topics at the intersection between computer science and economics. Parkes has served as Program Chair of ACM EC’07 and AAMAS’08 and General Chair of ACM EC’10, served on the editorial board of Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and currently serves as Editor of Games and Economic Behavior and on the boards of Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems and INFORMS Journal of Computing. His research interests include computational mechanism design, electronic commerce, stochastic optimization, preference elicitation, market design, bounded rationality, computational social choice, networks and incentives, multi-agent systems, crowd-sourcing and social computing.

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