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Bayesian generic priors for causal learning
 Psychological Review
, 2008
"... The article presents a Bayesian model of causal learning that incorporates generic priors—systematic assumptions about abstract properties of a system of cause–effect relations. The proposed generic priors for causal learning favor sparse and strong (SS) causes—causes that are few in number and high ..."
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Cited by 21 (0 self)
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The article presents a Bayesian model of causal learning that incorporates generic priors—systematic assumptions about abstract properties of a system of cause–effect relations. The proposed generic priors for causal learning favor sparse and strong (SS) causes—causes that are few in number and high in their individual powers to produce or prevent effects. The SS power model couples these generic priors with a causal generating function based on the assumption that unobservable causal influences on an effect operate independently (P. W. Cheng, 1997). The authors tested this and other Bayesian models, as well as leading nonnormative models, by fitting multiple data sets in which several parameters were varied parametrically across multiple types of judgments. The SS power model accounted for data concerning judgments of both causal strength and causal structure (whether a causal link exists). The model explains why human judgments of causal structure (relative to a Bayesian model lacking these generic priors) are influenced more by causal power and the base rate of the effect and less by sample size. Broader implications of the Bayesian framework for human learning are discussed.
Probabilities of Causation: Bounds and Identification
 Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence
, 2000
"... This paper deals with the problem of estimating the probability of causation, that is, the probability that one event was the real cause of another, in a given scenario. Starting from structuralsemantical definitions of the probabilities of necessary or sufficient causation (or both), we show h ..."
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Cited by 16 (10 self)
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This paper deals with the problem of estimating the probability of causation, that is, the probability that one event was the real cause of another, in a given scenario. Starting from structuralsemantical definitions of the probabilities of necessary or sufficient causation (or both), we show how to bound these quantities from data obtained in experimental and observational studies, under general assumptions concerning the datagenerating process. In particular, we strengthen the results of Pearl (1999) by presenting sharp bounds based on combined experimental and nonexperimental data under no process assumptions, as well as under the mild assumptions of exogeneity (no confounding) and monotonicity (no prevention). These results delineate more precisely the basic assumptions that must be made before statistical measures such as the excessriskratio could be used for assessing attributional quantities such as the probability of causation. 1
Probabilities of causation: Three counterfactual interpretations and their identification
 SYNTHESE
, 1999
"... According to common judicial standard, judgment in favor of plaintiff should be made if and only if it is "more probable than not" that the defendant's action was the cause for the plaintiff's damage (or death). This paper provides formal semantics, based on structural models ..."
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Cited by 9 (3 self)
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According to common judicial standard, judgment in favor of plaintiff should be made if and only if it is "more probable than not" that the defendant's action was the cause for the plaintiff's damage (or death). This paper provides formal semantics, based on structural models of counterfactuals, for the probability that event x was a necessary or sufficient cause (or both) of another event y. The paper then explicates conditions under which the probability of necessary (or sufficient) causation can be learned from statistical data, and shows how data from both experimental and nonexperimental studies can be combined to yield information that neither study alone can provide. Finally,weshow that necessity and sufficiency are two independent aspects of causation, and that both should be invoked in the construction of causal explanations for specific scenarios.
On the Definition of Actual Cause
, 1998
"... This report is based on lecture notes written for CS 262C, Spring 1998, and is organized as follows. Following a review of the SL framework (Section 2) Section 3 provides a comparison to other approaches to causation and suggests an explanation of why the notion of actual cause has encountered diffi ..."
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Cited by 4 (1 self)
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This report is based on lecture notes written for CS 262C, Spring 1998, and is organized as follows. Following a review of the SL framework (Section 2) Section 3 provides a comparison to other approaches to causation and suggests an explanation of why the notion of actual cause has encountered difficulties in those approaches. Section 3 defines "actual cause" and illustrates, through examples, how the "probability that event X = x actually caused event
Using Diagrams to give a Formal Specification of Timing Constraints in Z
"... The need to represent timing requirements for computer systems in a formal way is being addressed by a growing number of specification techniques. However, a common weakness in these techniques is understandability, as a specification is often used to communicate between interested parties who may ..."
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Cited by 3 (0 self)
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The need to represent timing requirements for computer systems in a formal way is being addressed by a growing number of specification techniques. However, a common weakness in these techniques is understandability, as a specification is often used to communicate between interested parties who may not possess the skills necessary to interpret a formal specification. Some atemporal specification languages deal with this problem by means of graphical notations with associated formal semantics (e.g. statecharts), although to the knowledge of the author, no such technique exists for dealing with temporal constraints in such a way. This paper presents causal timing diagrams, one possible approach for describing timing requirements graphically with an underlying formal semantics. 1. Introduction Where computer systems are to be used within highintegrity or safetycritical applications, it is essential that the risk of any kind of failure is minimised. The use of formal methods as a means...
INFERRING CAUSAL COMPLEXITY
"... In The Comparative Method Ragin (1987) has outlined a procedure of Boolean causal reasoning operating on pure coincidence data that has meanwhile become widely known as QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) among social scientists. QCA – also in its recent form as presented in Ragin (2000) – is de ..."
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In The Comparative Method Ragin (1987) has outlined a procedure of Boolean causal reasoning operating on pure coincidence data that has meanwhile become widely known as QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) among social scientists. QCA – also in its recent form as presented in Ragin (2000) – is designed to analyze causal structures featuring one effect and a possibly complex configuration of mutually independent direct causes of that effect. The paper at hand presents a procedure of causal reasoning that operates on the same type of empirical data as QCA and that implements Boolean techniques related to the ones resorted to by QCA, yet, in contrast to QCA, the procedure introduced here successfully identifies causal structures involving both mutually dependent causes, i.e. causal chains, and multiple effects, i.e. epiphenomena. In this sense, the paper at hand generalizes QCA. 1
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"... In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Postgraduate ..."
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In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Postgraduate
REALISM ABOUT BEHAVIOR 69
"... ABSTRACT: Behavior analysis emphasizes the study of overt animal (human and nonhuman) behavior as a subject matter in its own right. This paper provides a metaphysical foundation for such an emphasis via an elucidation of a thesis that I generically call “realism about behavior, ” where by “realism ..."
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ABSTRACT: Behavior analysis emphasizes the study of overt animal (human and nonhuman) behavior as a subject matter in its own right. This paper provides a metaphysical foundation for such an emphasis via an elucidation of a thesis that I generically call “realism about behavior, ” where by “realism ” I mean an assertion of mindindependent existence. The elucidation takes the form of a conceptual framework that combines a propertyexemplification account of events with modal realism in the context of three opposing philosophies of mind: property dualism, reductive physicalism, and type behaviorism. Each philosophy leads to the thesis that at least one possible world exists in which counterparts of all actual behavioral events occur and no counterpart of any actual “mental ” (either nonphysical, neuromental, or behavioromental) event occurs. The third thesis is false because it violates the assumption that nothing can exist independently of itself, which leads to a rejection of type behaviorism. The other two theses provide the soughtafter foundation through a counterfactual characterization of behavior qua behavior as a scientific subject matter. Its study thus becomes the study of behavior as if the nonphysical and the neural did not exist, even if they may factually exist and play a causal role in behavior. Some implications are discussed.