Position Ranking and Auctions for Online Marketplaces
Social Science Research Network
We study fairness of ranking in online job marketplaces. We focus on group fairness and aim to algorithmically explore how a scoring function, through which individuals are ranked for jobs, treats different demographic groups. Previous work on group-level fairness has focused on the case where groups are pre-defined or where they are defined using a single protected attribute (e.g., Caucasian vs Asian). In this paper, we argue for the need to examine fairness for groups of people defined with
... ople defined with any combination of protected attributes. To do this, we formulate an optimization problem to find a partitioning of individuals on their protected attributes that exhibits the highest unfairness with respect to the scoring function. The scoring function yields one histogram of score distributions per partition and we rely on Earth Mover's Distance, a measure that is commonly used to compare histograms, to quantify unfairness. Since the number of ways to partition individuals is exponential in the number of their protected attribute values, we propose two heuristic algorithms to navigate the space of all possible partitionings to identify the one with the highest unfairness. We evaluate our algorithms using a simulation of a crowdsourcing platform and show that they can effectively quantify unfairness of various scoring functions.