Equality of Opportunity in Ranking: a Fair-Distributive Model

Second International Workshop on Algorithmic Bias in Search and Recommendation (Bias 2021)
Beretta, Elena; Vetrò, Antonio; Lepri, Bruno; De Martin, Juan Carlos
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April 1, 2021

In this work, we define a Fair-Distributive ranking system based on Equality of Opportunity theory and fair division models. The aim is to determine the ranking order of a set of candidates maximizing utility bound to a fairness constraint. Our model extends the notion of protected attributes to a pool of individual circumstances, which determine the membership to a specific type. The contribution of this paper are i) a Fair-Distributive Ranking System based on criteria derived from distributive justice theory and its applications in both economic and social sciences; ii) a class of fairness metrics for ranking systems based on the Equality of Opportunity theory. We test our approach on a hypothetical scenario of a selection university process. A follow-up analysis shows that the Fair-Distributive Ranking System preserves an equal exposure level for both minority and majority groups, providing a minimal system utility cost. less