Uplift Modeling for Multiple Treatments with Cost Optimization

arXiv.org Machine Learning

--Uplift modeling is an emerging machine learning approach for estimating the treatment effect at an individual or subgroup level. It can be used for optimizing the performance of interventions such as marketing campaigns and product designs. Uplift modeling can be used to estimate which users are likely to benefit from a treatment and then prioritize delivering or promoting the preferred experience to those users. An important but so far neglected use case for uplift modeling is an experiment with multiple treatment groups that have different costs, such as for example when different communication channels and promotion types are tested simultaneously. In this paper, we extend standard uplift models to support multiple treatment groups with different costs. We evaluate the performance of the proposed models using both synthetic and real data. We also describe a production implementation of the approach. Uplift modeling [1]-[8] is a technique to estimate and predict the individual-level or subgroup-level causal effects of different treatments in an experiment. This type of information is useful for designing and offering a personalized experience to improve user experience, satisfaction, and engagement. Uplift modeling is therefore commonly used in areas such as marketing, customer service, and product offering. It is helpful to think about uplift modeling in the context of randomized experiments (also known as A/B testing [9]-[11]). In a typical experiment, users are randomly assigned to each treatment group and causal effects are then estimated for the population.

Machine Learning Analysis of Heterogeneity in the Effect of Student Mindset Interventions

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We study heterogeneity in the effect of a mindset intervention on student-level performance through an observational dataset from the National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM). Our analysis uses machine learning (ML) to address the following associated problems: assessing treatment group overlap and covariate balance, imputing conditional average treatment effects, and interpreting imputed effects. By comparing several different model families we illustrate the flexibility of both off-the-shelf and purpose-built estimators. We find that the mindset intervention has a positive average effect of 0.26, 95%-CI [0.22, 0.30], and that heterogeneity in the range of [0.1, 0.4] is moderated by school-level achievement level, poverty concentration, urbanicity, and student prior expectations.

Transfer Learning for Estimating Causal Effects using Neural Networks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We develop new algorithms for estimating heterogeneous treatment effects, combining recent developments in transfer learning for neural networks with insights from the causal inference literature. By taking advantage of transfer learning, we are able to efficiently use different data sources that are related to the same underlying causal mechanisms. We compare our algorithms with those in the extant literature using extensive simulation studies based on large-scale voter persuasion experiments and the MNIST database. Our methods can perform an order of magnitude better than existing benchmarks while using a fraction of the data.

Counterfactual Cross-Validation: Effective Causal Model Selection from Observational Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

What is the most effective way to select the best causal model among potential candidates? In this paper, we propose a method to effectively select the best individual-level treatment effect (ITE) predictors from a set of candidates using only an observational validation set. In model selection or hyperparameter tuning, we are interested in choosing the best model or the value of hyperparameter from potential candidates. Thus, we focus on accurately preserving the rank order of the ITE prediction performance of candidate causal models. The proposed evaluation metric is theoretically proved to preserve the true ranking of the model performance in expectation and to minimize the upper bound of the finite sample uncertainty in model selection. Consistent with the theoretical result, empirical experiments demonstrate that our proposed method is more likely to select the best model and set of hyperparameter in both model selection and hyperparameter tuning.

Targeted Estimation of Heterogeneous Treatment Effect in Observational Survival Analysis

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The aim of clinical effectiveness research using repositories of electronic health records is to identify what health interventions 'work best' in real-world settings. Since there are several reasons why the net benefit of intervention may differ across patients, current comparative effectiveness literature focuses on investigating heterogeneous treatment effect and predicting whether an individual might benefit from an intervention. The majority of this literature has concentrated on the estimation of the effect of treatment on binary outcomes. However, many medical interventions are evaluated in terms of their effect on future events, which are subject to loss to follow-up. In this study, we describe a framework for the estimation of heterogeneous treatment effect in terms of differences in time-to-event (survival) probabilities. We divide the problem into three phases: (1) estimation of treatment effect conditioned on unique sets of the covariate vector; (2) identification of features important for heterogeneity using an ensemble of non-parametric variable importance methods; and (3) estimation of treatment effect on the reference classes defined by the previously selected features, using one-step Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation. We conducted a series of simulation studies and found that this method performs well when either sample size or event rate is high enough and the number of covariates contributing to the effect heterogeneity is moderate. An application of this method to a clinical case study was conducted by estimating the effect of oral anticoagulants on newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink.