Probabilistic Verification of Program Fairness


With the range and sensitivity of algorithmic decisions expanding at a break-neck speed, it is imperative that we aggressively investigate fairness and bias in decision-making programs. First, we show that a number of recently proposed formal definitions of fairness can be encoded as probabilistic program properties. Second, with the goal of enabling rigorous reasoning about fairness, we design a novel technique for verifying probabilistic properties that admits a wide class of decision-making programs. Third, we present FairSquare, the first verification tool for automatically certifying that a program meets a given fairness property. We evaluate FairSquare on a range of decision-making programs. Our evaluation demonstrates FairSquare's ability to verify fairness for a range of different programs, which we show are out-of-reach for state-of-the-art program analysis techniques.

Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA)