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Reputation (In)dependence in Ranking Systems: Demographics Influence Over Output Disparities

by   Guilherme Ramos, et al.
Association for Computing Machinery

Recent literature on ranking systems (RS) has considered users' exposure when they are the object of the ranking. Although items are the object of reputation-based RS, users have a central role also in this class of algorithms. Indeed, when ranking the items, user preferences are weighted by how relevant this user is in the platform (i.e., their reputation). In this paper, we formulate the concept of disparate reputation (DR) and study if users characterized by sensitive attributes systematically get a lower reputation, leading to a final ranking that reflects less their preferences. We consider two demographic attributes, i.e., gender and age, and show that DR systematically occurs. Then, we propose mitigation, which ensures that reputation is independent of the users' sensitive attributes. Experiments on real-world data show that our approach can overcome DR and also improve ranking effectiveness.


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