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Graph Fairness Learning under Distribution Shifts

Yibo LiXiao WangYujie Xing ...+4 Chuan Shi
Jan 2024
Graph neural networks (GNNs) have achieved remarkable performance on graph-structured data. However, GNNs may inherit prejudice from the training data and make discriminatory predictions based on sensitive attributes, such as gender and race. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in ensuring fairness on GNNs, but all of them are under the assumption that the training and testing data are under the same distribution, i.e., training data and testing data are from the same graph. Will graph fairness performance decrease under distribution shifts? How does distribution shifts affect graph fairness learning? All these open questions are largely unexplored from a theoretical perspective. To answer these questions, we first theoretically identify the factors that determine bias on a graph. Subsequently, we explore the factors influencing fairness on testing graphs, with a noteworthy factor being the representation distances of certain groups between the training and testing graph. Motivated by our theoretical analysis, we propose our framework FatraGNN. Specifically, to guarantee fairness performance on unknown testing graphs, we propose a graph generator to produce numerous graphs with significant bias and under different distributions. Then we minimize the representation distances for each certain group between the training graph and generated graphs. This empowers our model to achieve high classification and fairness performance even on generated graphs with significant bias, thereby effectively handling unknown testing graphs. Experiments on real-world and semi-synthetic datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our model in terms of both accuracy and fairness.
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