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Title: FACS-GCN: Fairness-Aware Cost-Sensitive Boosting of Graph Convolutional Networks
Graph neural networks (GNNs) have emerged as a powerful tool for modeling graph data due to their ability to learn a concise representation of the data by integrating the node attributes and link information in a principled fashion. However, despite their promise, there are several practical challenges that must be overcome to effectively use them for node classification problems. In particular, current approaches are vulnerable to different kinds of biases inherent in the graph data. First, if the class distribution is imbalanced, then the GNNs' loss function is biased towards classifying the majority class correctly rather than the minority class, which hurts the performance of the latter class. Second, due to homophily effect, the learned representation and subsequent downstream tasks may favor certain demographic groups over others when applied to social network data. To mitigate such biases, we propose a novel framework called Fairness-Aware Cost Sensitive Graph Convolutional Network (FACS-GCN) for classifying nodes in networks with skewed class distributions. Our approach combines a cost-sensitive exponential loss with an adversarial learning component to alleviate the ill-effects of both biases. The framework employs a stagewise additive modeling approach to ensure there is no significant loss in accuracy when imparting fairness into the GNN. Experimental results on 6 benchmark graph data demonstrate the effectiveness of FACS-GCN against comparable baseline methods in terms of promoting fairness while maintaining a high model accuracy on the majority of the datasets.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2022 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN)
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 8
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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