Cai, Ruichu, Qiao, Jie, Zhang, Kun, Zhang, Zhenjie, Hao, Zhifeng

Causal discovery from a set of observations is one of the fundamental problems across several disciplines. For continuous variables, recently a number of causal discovery methods have demonstrated their effectiveness in distinguishing the cause from effect by exploring certain properties of the conditional distribution, but causal discovery on categorical data still remains to be a challenging problem, because it is generally not easy to find a compact description of the causal mechanism for the true causal direction. In this paper we make an attempt to find a way to solve this problem by assuming a two-stage causal process: the first stage maps the cause to a hidden variable of a lower cardinality, and the second stage generates the effect from the hidden representation. In this way, the causal mechanism admits a simple yet compact representation. We show that under this model, the causal direction is identifiable under some weak conditions on the true causal mechanism.

Cai, Ruichu, Qiao, Jie, Zhang, Kun, Zhang, Zhenjie, Hao, Zhifeng

Causal discovery from a set of observations is one of the fundamental problems across several disciplines. For continuous variables, recently a number of causal discovery methods have demonstrated their effectiveness in distinguishing the cause from effect by exploring certain properties of the conditional distribution, but causal discovery on categorical data still remains to be a challenging problem, because it is generally not easy to find a compact description of the causal mechanism for the true causal direction. In this paper we make an attempt to find a way to solve this problem by assuming a two-stage causal process: the first stage maps the cause to a hidden variable of a lower cardinality, and the second stage generates the effect from the hidden representation. In this way, the causal mechanism admits a simple yet compact representation. We show that under this model, the causal direction is identifiable under some weak conditions on the true causal mechanism. We also provide an effective solution to recover the above hidden compact representation within the likelihood framework. Empirical studies verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach on both synthetic and real-world data.

Halpern, Joseph Y., Hitchcock, Christopher

Judea Pearl was the first to propose a definition of actual causation using causal models. A number of authors have suggested that an adequate account of actual causation must appeal not only to causal structure, but also to considerations of normality. In earlier work, we provided a definition of actual causation using extended causal models, which include information about both causal structure and normality. Extended causal models are potentially very complex. In this paper, we show how it is possible to achieve a compact representation of extended causal models.

Bochman, Alexander (Holon Institute of Technology) | Lifschitz, Vladimir (University of Texas at Austin)

We provide a logical representation of Pearl's structural causal models in the causal calculus of McCain and Turner (1997) and its first-order generalization by Lifschitz. It will be shown that, under this representation, the nonmonotonic semantics of the causal calculus describes precisely the solutions of the structural equations (the causal worlds of the causal model), while the causal logic from Bochman (2004) is adequate for describing the behavior of causal models under interventions (forming submodels).

Bochman, Alexander (Holon Institute of Technology) | Lifschitz, Vladimir (University of Texas at Austin)