Protecting Individual Interests across Clusters: Spectral Clustering with Guarantees

8 May 2021  ·  Shubham Gupta, Ambedkar Dukkipati ·

Studies related to fairness in machine learning have recently gained traction due to its ever-expanding role in high-stakes decision making. For example, it may be desirable to ensure that all clusters discovered by an algorithm have high gender diversity. Previously, these problems have been studied under a setting where sensitive attributes, with respect to which fairness conditions impose diversity across clusters, are assumed to be observable; hence, protected groups are readily available. Most often, this may not be true, and diversity or individual interests can manifest as an intrinsic or latent feature of a social network. For example, depending on latent sensitive attributes, individuals interact with each other and represent each other's interests, resulting in a network, which we refer to as a representation graph. Motivated by this, we propose an individual fairness criterion for clustering a graph $\mathcal{G}$ that requires each cluster to contain an adequate number of members connected to the individual under a representation graph $\mathcal{R}$. We devise a spectral clustering algorithm to find fair clusters under a given representation graph. We further propose a variant of the stochastic block model and establish our algorithm's weak consistency under this model. Finally, we present experimental results to corroborate our theoretical findings.

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