Influence in Classification via Cooperative Game Theory

18/06/2015 - 12:00

A dataset has been classified by some unknown classifier into two types of points. What were the most important factors in determining the classification outcome? In this work, we employ an axiomatic approach in order to uniquely characterize an influence measure: a function that, given a set of classified points, outputs a value for each feature corresponding to its influence in determining the classification outcome.  We discuss the relation between our influence measure and causality: showing that we in fact measure the expected (counterfactual) responsibility of a feature on the classification outcome.  We show that our influence measure takes on an intuitive form when the unknown classifier is linear. Finally, we employ our influence measure in order to analyze the effects of user profiling on Google’s online display advertising.