Fairly Predicting Graft Failure in Liver Transplant for Organ Assigning

18 Feb 2023  ·  Sirui Ding, Ruixiang Tang, Daochen Zha, Na Zou, Kai Zhang, Xiaoqian Jiang, Xia Hu ·

Liver transplant is an essential therapy performed for severe liver diseases. The fact of scarce liver resources makes the organ assigning crucial. Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score is a widely adopted criterion when making organ distribution decisions. However, it ignores post-transplant outcomes and organ/donor features. These limitations motivate the emergence of machine learning (ML) models. Unfortunately, ML models could be unfair and trigger bias against certain groups of people. To tackle this problem, this work proposes a fair machine learning framework targeting graft failure prediction in liver transplant. Specifically, knowledge distillation is employed to handle dense and sparse features by combining the advantages of tree models and neural networks. A two-step debiasing method is tailored for this framework to enhance fairness. Experiments are conducted to analyze unfairness issues in existing models and demonstrate the superiority of our method in both prediction and fairness performance.

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