Causal inference via algebraic geometry: feasibility tests for functional causal structures with two binary observed variables

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We provide a scheme for inferring causal relations from uncontrolled statistical data based on tools from computational algebraic geometry, in particular, the computation of Groebner bases. We focus on causal structures containing just two observed variables, each of which is binary. We consider the consequences of imposing different restrictions on the number and cardinality of latent variables and of assuming different functional dependences of the observed variables on the latent ones (in particular, the noise need not be additive). We provide an inductive scheme for classifying functional causal structures into distinct observational equivalence classes. For each observational equivalence class, we provide a procedure for deriving constraints on the joint distribution that are necessary and sufficient conditions for it to arise from a model in that class. We also demonstrate how this sort of approach provides a means of determining which causal parameters are identifiable and how to solve for these. Prospects for expanding the scope of our scheme, in particular to the problem of quantum causal inference, are also discussed.


Discovering Causal Relations by Experimentation: Causal Trees

AAAI Conferences

Generally, the less background knowledge needed, the better; the robot should be able to start 92 MAICS-97 out with the "mind of an infant" and learn everything it needs.


Discovering causal structures in binary exclusive-or skew acyclic models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Discovering causal relations among observed variables in a given data set is a main topic in studies of statistics and artificial intelligence. Recently, some techniques to discover an identifiable causal structure have been explored based on non-Gaussianity of the observed data distribution. However, most of these are limited to continuous data. In this paper, we present a novel causal model for binary data and propose a new approach to derive an identifiable causal structure governing the data based on skew Bernoulli distributions of external noise. Experimental evaluation shows excellent performance for both artificial and real world data sets.


Local Causal Discovery of Direct Causes and Effects

Neural Information Processing Systems

We focus on the discovery and identification of direct causes and effects of a target variable in a causal network. State-of-the-art causal learning algorithms generally need to find the global causal structures in the form of complete partial directed acyclic graphs (CPDAG) in order to identify direct causes and effects of a target variable. While these algorithms are effective, it is often unnecessary and wasteful to find the global structures when we are only interested in the local structure of one target variable (such as class labels). We propose a new local causal discovery algorithm,called Causal Markov Blanket (CMB), to identify the direct causes and effects of a target variable based on Markov Blanket Discovery. CMB is designed toconduct causal discovery among multiple variables, but focuses only on finding causal relationships between a specific target variable and other variables. Under standard assumptions, we show both theoretically and experimentally that the proposed local causal discovery algorithm can obtain the comparable identification accuracyas global methods but significantly improve their efficiency, often by more than one order of magnitude.


Causal Discovery in a Binary Exclusive-or Skew Acyclic Model: BExSAM

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Discovering causal relations among observed variables in a given data set is a major objective in studies of statistics and artificial intelligence. Recently, some techniques to discover a unique causal model have been explored based on non-Gaussianity of the observed data distribution. However, most of these are limited to continuous data. In this paper, we present a novel causal model for binary data and propose an efficient new approach to deriving the unique causal model governing a given binary data set under skew distributions of external binary noises. Experimental evaluation shows excellent performance for both artificial and real world data sets.