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Approximating the Shapley Value without Marginal Contributions

by   Patrick Kolpaczki, et al.

The Shapley value is arguably the most popular approach for assigning a meaningful contribution value to players in a cooperative game, which has recently been used intensively in various areas of machine learning, most notably in explainable artificial intelligence. The meaningfulness is due to axiomatic properties that only the Shapley value satisfies, which, however, comes at the expense of an exact computation growing exponentially with the number of agents. Accordingly, a number of works are devoted to the efficient approximation of the Shapley values, all of which revolve around the notion of an agent's marginal contribution. In this paper, we propose with SVARM and Stratified SVARM two parameter-free and domain-independent approximation algorithms based on a representation of the Shapley value detached from the notion of marginal contributions. We prove unmatched theoretical guarantees regarding their approximation quality and provide satisfying empirical results.


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