Past Events

Qualifying Exam

Explaining Ranking Functions


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Thursday, April 22, 2021, 01:30pm - 03:00pm


Speaker: Abraham Gale

Location : Remote via Zoom


Prof. Amelie Marian

Prof. Yongfeng Zhang

Prof. David Pennock

Prof. Jingjin Yu

Event Type: Qualifying Exam

Abstract: As the general public realizes the significant societal impacts of the widespread use of algorithms in decision-making, there has been a push towards explainability and transparency in decision processes and results, as well as demands to justify the fairness of the processes. I propose transparent participation metrics to clarify the ranking process, by assessing the contribution of each parameter used in the ranking function in the creation of the final ranked outcome,using information about the ranking functions themselves, as well as observations of the underlying distributions of the parameter values involved in the ranking. To evaluate the outcome of the ranking process, I propose diversity and disparity metrics to measure how similar the selected objects are to each other, and to the underlying data distribution. In addition, I have been investigating the repercussions of errors and changes of resources occurring post-decision on the outcome of allocation mechanisms in order to enable fair redistribution of resources after the original decision conditions have been altered. My research seeks to enable non-experts to actively participate in all stages of the algorithmic decision process, from design to decision to error mitigation.


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