Communications and Signal Processing Seminar

Demystifying and Mitigating Unfairness for Machine Learning over Graphs

Yanning ShenAssistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer ScienceUniversity of California, Irvine
3316 EECS BuildingMap

Abstract: We live in an era of big data and a “small-world” where a large amount of data resides on inter-connected graphs representing a wide range of physical and social interdependencies, e.g., smart grids and social networks. Hence, machine learning (ML) over graphs has attracted significant attention and has shown promising success in various applications. Despite this success, the large-scale deployment of graph-based ML algorithms in real-world systems relies heavily on how socially responsible they are. While graph-based ML models nicely integrate the nodal data with the connectivity, they also inherit potential unfairness. Using such ML models may therefore result in inevitable unfair results in various decision- and policy-making in the related applications. To this end, this talk will introduce novel fairness-aware graph neural network(GNN) designs to address unfairness issues in learning over graphs. Furthermore, theoretical understandings are provided to explain the potential source of unfairness in GNNs and prove the efficacy of the proposed schemes. Experimental results on real networks demonstrate that the proposed framework can enhance fairness while providing comparable accuracy to state-of-the-art alternative approaches for node classification and link prediction tasks.

Bio: Yanning Shen is an assistant professor with the EECS department at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests span the areas of machine learning, network science, and data science. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in 2019. Stanford University selected her as a Rising Star in EECS in 2017. She received the Microsoft Academic Grant Award for AI Research in 2021, the Google Research Scholar Award in 2022, the Hellman Fellowship in 2022, and the UCI Newkirk faculty fellowship in 2023. She is also an honoree of the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators under 35 Asia Pacific in 2022. More detailed information can be found at:

***Event will take place in a hybrid format. The location for in-person attendance will be room 1690 Beyster.   Attendance will also be available via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 914 1429 7851

Passcode: XXXXXX (Will be sent via e-mail to attendees)

Zoom Passcode information is also available upon request to Michele Feldkamp ([email protected]) or Sher Nickrand([email protected]).

See full seminar by Professor Shen

Faculty Host

Mingyan LiuAlice L Hunt Collegiate Professor of Engineering, Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of Michigan