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Fair Disaster Containment via Graph-Cut Problems

Michael Dinitz · Aravind Srinivasan · Leonidas Tsepenekas · Anil Vullikanti


Graph cut problems are fundamental in combinatorial Optimization, and are a central object of study in both theory and practice. Further, the study of fairness in Algorithmic Design and Machine Learning has recently received significant attention, with many different notions proposed and analyzed for a variety of contexts. In this paper we initiate the study of fairness for graph cut problems by giving the first fair definitions for them, and subsequently we demonstrate appropriate algorithmic techniques that yield a rigorous theoretical analysis. Specifically, we incorporate two different notions of fairness, namely demographic and probabilistic individual fairness, in a particular cut problem that models disaster containment scenarios. Our results include a variety of approximation algorithms with provable theoretical guarantees.

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