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Friday, August 21, 2020

Search Algorithm Fairness Adjustments

In particular looking at search results.

Algorithm Improves Fairness of Search Results

Cornell Chronicle
Melanie Lefkowitz
August 17, 2020

Cornell University researchers have developed an algorithm to improve the fairness of online search rankings while retaining their utility or relevance. Unfairness stems from search algorithms prioritizing more popular items, which means that the higher a choice appears in the list, the more likely users are to click on and respond to it, reinforcing one item's popularity while others go unnoticed. When seeking the most relevant items, small variations can cause major exposure disparities, because most people select one of the first few listed items. Cornell's Thorsten Joachims said, "We came up with computational tools that let you specify fairness criteria, as well as the algorithm that will provably enforce them." The FairCo tool allocates approximately equal exposure to equally relevant choices and avoids preference for items that are already highly ranked; this can remedy the innate unfairness in current algorithms.  .... "

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