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Accuracy comparison across face recognition algorithms: Where are we on measuring race bias?

2019-12-16 14:27:10
Jacqueline G. Cavazos, P. Jonathon Phillips, Carlos D. Castillo, Alice J. O'Toole


Previous generations of face recognition algorithms differ in accuracy for faces of different races (race bias). Whether deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs) are race biased is less studied. To measure race bias in algorithms, it is important to consider the underlying factors. Here, we present the possible underlying factors and methodological considerations for assessing race bias in algorithms. We investigate data-driven and scenario modeling factors. Data-driven factors include image quality, image population statistics, and algorithm architecture. Scenario modeling considers the role of the "user" of the algorithm (e.g., threshold decisions and demographic constraints). To illustrate how these issues apply, we present data from four face recognition algorithms (one pre- DCNN, three DCNN) for Asian and Caucasian faces. First, for all four algorithms, the degree of bias varied depending on the identification decision threshold. Second, for all algorithms, to achieve equal false accept rates (FARs), Asian faces required higher identification thresholds than Caucasian faces. Third, dataset difficulty affected both overall recognition accuracy and race bias. Fourth, demographic constraints on the formulation of the distributions used in the test, impacted estimates of algorithm accuracy. We conclude with a recommended checklist for measuring race bias in face recognition algorithms.

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