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A Graph-based Approach for Mitigating Multi-sided Exposure Bias in Recommender Systems

by   Masoud Mansoury, et al.
University of Colorado Boulder
DePaul University
TU Eindhoven

Fairness is a critical system-level objective in recommender systems that has been the subject of extensive recent research. A specific form of fairness is supplier exposure fairness where the objective is to ensure equitable coverage of items across all suppliers in recommendations provided to users. This is especially important in multistakeholder recommendation scenarios where it may be important to optimize utilities not just for the end-user, but also for other stakeholders such as item sellers or producers who desire a fair representation of their items. This type of supplier fairness is sometimes accomplished by attempting to increasing aggregate diversity in order to mitigate popularity bias and to improve the coverage of long-tail items in recommendations. In this paper, we introduce FairMatch, a general graph-based algorithm that works as a post processing approach after recommendation generation to improve exposure fairness for items and suppliers. The algorithm iteratively adds high quality items that have low visibility or items from suppliers with low exposure to the users' final recommendation lists. A comprehensive set of experiments on two datasets and comparison with state-of-the-art baselines show that FairMatch, while significantly improves exposure fairness and aggregate diversity, maintains an acceptable level of relevance of the recommendations.


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