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KDI 경제정보센터

ENG
  • Economic

    Information

    and Education

    Center

최신자료
From Predictive Algorithms to Automatic Generation of Anomalies
NBER
2024.05.14
Machine learning algorithms can find predictive signals that researchers fail to notice; yet they are notoriously hard-to-interpret. How can we extract theoretical insights from these black boxes? History provides a clue. Facing a similar problem - how to extract theoretical insights from their intuitions ? researchers often turned to “anomalies:” constructed examples that highlight flaws in an existing theory and spur the development of new ones. Canonical examples include the Allais paradox and the Kahneman-Tversky choice experiments for expected utility theory. We suggest anomalies can extract theoretical insights from black box predictive algorithms. We develop procedures to automatically generate anomalies for an existing theory when given a predictive algorithm. We cast anomaly generation as an adversarial game between a theory and a falsifier, the solutions to which are anomalies: instances where the black box algorithm predicts - were we to collect data - we would likely observe violations of the theory. As an illustration, we generate anomalies for expected utility theory using a large, publicly available dataset on real lottery choices. Based on an estimated neural network that predicts lottery choices, our procedures recover known anomalies and discover new ones for expected utility theory. In incentivized experiments, subjects violate expected utility theory on these algorithmically generated anomalies; moreover, the violation rates are similar to observed rates for the Allais paradox and Common ratio effect.