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Bias Challenges in Counterfactual Data Augmentation

09/12/2022
by   S Chandra Mouli, et al.
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Deep learning models tend not to be out-of-distribution robust primarily due to their reliance on spurious features to solve the task. Counterfactual data augmentations provide a general way of (approximately) achieving representations that are counterfactual-invariant to spurious features, a requirement for out-of-distribution (OOD) robustness. In this work, we show that counterfactual data augmentations may not achieve the desired counterfactual-invariance if the augmentation is performed by a context-guessing machine, an abstract machine that guesses the most-likely context of a given input. We theoretically analyze the invariance imposed by such counterfactual data augmentations and describe an exemplar NLP task where counterfactual data augmentation by a context-guessing machine does not lead to robust OOD classifiers.

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