Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Romei A., Ruggieri S., Turini F. Discrimination discovery in scientific project evaluation: a case study. In: Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal, vol. 40 (15) pp. 6064 - 6079. Elsevier, 2013.
Discovering contexts of unfair decisions in a dataset of historical decision records is a non-trivial problem. It requires the design of ad-hoc methods and techniques of analysis, which have to comply with existing laws and with legal argumentations. While some data mining techniques have been adapted to the purpose, the state-of-the-art of research still needs both methodological refinements, the consolidation of a Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) process, and, most of all, experimentation with real data. This paper contributes by presenting a case study on gender discrimination in a dataset of scientific research proposals, and by distilling from the case study a general discrimination discovery process. Gender bias in scientific research is a challenging problem, that has been tackled in the social sciences literature by means of statistical regression. However, this approach is limited to test an hypothesis of discrimination over the whole dataset under analysis. Our methodology couples data mining, for unveiling previously unknown contexts of possible discrimination, with statistical regression, for testing the significance of such contexts, thus obtaining the best of the two worlds.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957417413003023
DOI: 10.1016/j.eswa.2013.05.016
Subject Discrimination
H.2.8 Database Applications

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