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Unbiased Graph Embedding with Biased Graph Observations

by   Nan Wang, et al.
University of Virginia

Graph embedding techniques have been increasingly employed in real-world machine learning tasks on graph-structured data, such as social recommendations and protein structure modeling. Since the generation of a graph is inevitably affected by some sensitive node attributes (such as gender and age of users in a social network), the learned graph representations can inherit such sensitive information and introduce undesirable biases in downstream tasks. Most existing works on debiasing graph representations add ad-hoc constraints on the learned embeddings to restrict their distributions, which however compromise the utility of resulting graph representations in downstream tasks. In this paper, we propose a principled new way for obtaining unbiased representations by learning from an underlying bias-free graph that is not influenced by sensitive attributes. Based on this new perspective, we propose two complementary methods for uncovering such an underlying graph with the goal of introducing minimum impact on the utility of learned representations in downstream tasks. Both our theoretical justification and extensive experiment comparisons against state-of-the-art solutions demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed methods.


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