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Abstract:When resources are scarce, an allocation policy is needed to decide who receives a resource. This problem occurs, for instance, when allocating scarce medical resources and is often solved using modern ML methods. This paper introduces methods to evaluate index-based allocation policies -- that allocate a fixed number of resources to those who need them the most -- by using data from a randomized control trial. Such policies create dependencies between agents, which render the assumptions behind standard statistical tests invalid and limit the effectiveness of estimators. Addressing these challenges, we translate and extend recent ideas from the statistics literature to present an efficient estimator and methods for computing asymptotically correct confidence intervals. This enables us to effectively draw valid statistical conclusions, a critical gap in previous work. Our extensive experiments validate our methodology in practical settings, while also showcasing its statistical power. We conclude by proposing and empirically verifying extensions of our methodology that enable us to reevaluate a past randomized control trial to evaluate different ML allocation policies in the context of a mHealth program, drawing previously invisible conclusions.

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Abstract:We consider the problem of subset selection where one is given multiple rankings of items and the goal is to select the highest ``quality'' subset. Score functions from the multiwinner voting literature have been used to aggregate rankings into quality scores for subsets. We study this setting of subset selection problems when, in addition, rankings may contain systemic or unconscious biases toward a group of items. For a general model of input rankings and biases, we show that requiring the selected subset to satisfy group fairness constraints can improve the quality of the selection with respect to unbiased rankings. Importantly, we show that for fairness constraints to be effective, different multiwinner score functions may require a drastically different number of rankings: While for some functions, fairness constraints need an exponential number of rankings to recover a close-to-optimal solution, for others, this dependency is only polynomial. This result relies on a novel notion of ``smoothness'' of submodular functions in this setting that quantifies how well a function can ``correctly'' assess the quality of items in the presence of bias. The results in this paper can be used to guide the choice of multiwinner score functions for the subset selection setting considered here; we additionally provide a tool to empirically enable this.

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Abstract:Focusing on Stable Roommates (SR) instances, we contribute to the toolbox for conducting experiments for stable matching problems. We introduce a polynomial-time computable pseudometric to measure the similarity of SR instances, analyze its properties, and use it to create a map of SR instances. This map visualizes 460 synthetic SR instances (each sampled from one of ten different statistical cultures) as follows: Each instance is a point in the plane, and two points are close on the map if the corresponding SR instances are similar to each other. Subsequently, we conduct several exemplary experiments and depict their results on the map, illustrating the map's usefulness as a non-aggregate visualization tool, the diversity of our generated dataset, and the need to use instances sampled from different statistical cultures. Lastly, to demonstrate that our framework can also be used for other matching problems under preference, we create and analyze a map of Stable Marriage instances.

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Abstract:We use the "map of elections" approach of Szufa et al. (AAMAS 2020) to analyze several well-known vote distributions. For each of them, we give an explicit formula or an efficient algorithm for computing its frequency matrix, which captures the probability that a given candidate appears in a given position in a sampled vote. We use these matrices to draw the "skeleton map" of distributions, evaluate its robustness, and analyze its properties. We further use them to identify the nature of several real-world elections.

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Abstract:A recent report of Littmann [Commun. ACM '21] outlines the existence and the fatal impact of collusion rings in academic peer reviewing. We introduce and analyze the problem Cycle-Free Reviewing that aims at finding a review assignment without the following kind of collusion ring: A sequence of reviewers each reviewing a paper authored by the next reviewer in the sequence (with the last reviewer reviewing a paper of the first), thus creating a review cycle where each reviewer gives favorable reviews. As a result, all papers in that cycle have a high chance of acceptance independent of their respective scientific merit. We observe that review assignments computed using a standard Linear Programming approach typically admit many short review cycles. On the negative side, we show that Cycle-Free Reviewing is NP-hard in various restricted cases (i.e., when every author is qualified to review all papers and one wants to prevent that authors review each other's or their own papers or when every author has only one paper and is only qualified to review few papers). On the positive side, among others, we show that, in some realistic settings, an assignment without any review cycles of small length always exists. This result also gives rise to an efficient heuristic for computing (weighted) cycle-free review assignments, which we show to be of excellent quality in practice.

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