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Direct and Indirect Effects
, 2005
"... The direct effect of one event on another can be defined and measured by holding constant all intermediate variables between the two. Indirect effects present conceptual and practical difficulties (in nonlinear models), because they cannot be isolated by holding certain variables constant. This pape ..."
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Cited by 76 (22 self)
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The direct effect of one event on another can be defined and measured by holding constant all intermediate variables between the two. Indirect effects present conceptual and practical difficulties (in nonlinear models), because they cannot be isolated by holding certain variables constant. This paper presents a new way of defining the effect transmitted through a restricted set of paths, without controlling variables on the remaining paths. This permits the assessment of a more natural type of direct and indirect effects, one that is applicable in both linear and nonlinear models and that has broader policyrelated interpretations. The paper establishes conditions under which such assessments can be estimated consistently from experimental and nonexperimental data, and thus extends pathanalytic techniques to nonlinear and nonparametric models.
An Axiomatic Characterization of Causal Counterfactuals
, 1998
"... This paper studies the causal interpretation of counterfactual sentences using a modifiable structural equation model. It is shown that two properties of counterfactuals, namely, composition and effectiveness, are sound and complete relative to this interpretation, when recursive (i.e., feedback ..."
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Cited by 47 (19 self)
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This paper studies the causal interpretation of counterfactual sentences using a modifiable structural equation model. It is shown that two properties of counterfactuals, namely, composition and effectiveness, are sound and complete relative to this interpretation, when recursive (i.e., feedbackless) models are considered. Composition and effectiveness also hold in Lewis's closestworld semantics, which implies that for recursive models the causal interpretation imposes no restrictions beyond those embodied in Lewis's framework. A third property, called reversibility, holds in nonrecursive causal models but not in Lewis's closestworld semantics, which implies that Lewis's axioms do not capture some properties of systems with feedback. Causal inferences based on counterfactual analysis are exemplified and compared to those based on graphical models.
Causality in Bayesian Belief Networks
 In Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI93
, 1993
"... We address the problem of causal interpretation of the graphical structure of Bayesian belief networks (BBNs). We review the concept of causality explicated in the domain of structural equations models and show that it is applicable to BBNs. In this view, which we call mechanismbased, causality is ..."
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Cited by 46 (18 self)
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We address the problem of causal interpretation of the graphical structure of Bayesian belief networks (BBNs). We review the concept of causality explicated in the domain of structural equations models and show that it is applicable to BBNs. In this view, which we call mechanismbased, causality is defined within models and causal asymmetries arise when mechanisms are placed in the context of a system. We lay the link between structural equations models and BBNs models and formulate the conditions under which the latter can be given causal interpretation. 1 INTRODUCTION Although references to causality permeate everyday scientific practice, the notion of causation has been one of the most controversial subjects in the philosophy of science. Hume's critique that causal connections cannot be observed, and therefore have no empirical basis, strongly influenced the empiricist framework and refocused the concept of causality to scientific models as opposed to reality. A strong attack on ca...
Reasoning With Cause And Effect
, 1999
"... This paper summarizes basic concepts and principles that I have found to be useful in dealing with causal reasoning. The paper is written as a companion to a lecture under the same title, to be presented at IJCAI99, and is intended to supplement the lecture with technical details and pointers to mo ..."
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Cited by 36 (0 self)
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This paper summarizes basic concepts and principles that I have found to be useful in dealing with causal reasoning. The paper is written as a companion to a lecture under the same title, to be presented at IJCAI99, and is intended to supplement the lecture with technical details and pointers to more elaborate discussions in the literature. The ruling conception will be to treat causation as a computational schema devised to identify the invariant relationships in the environment, so as to facilitate reliable prediction of the effect of actions. This conception, as well as several of its satellite principles and tools, has been guiding paradigm for several research communities in AI, most notably those connected with causal discovery, troubleshooting, planning under uncertainty and modeling the behavior of physical systems. My hopes are to encourage a broader and more effective usage of causal modeling by explicating these common principles in simple and familiar mathematical form. Af...
Causal inference in statistics: An Overview
, 2009
"... This review presents empirical researcherswith recent advances in causal inference, and stresses the paradigmatic shifts that must be undertaken in moving from traditional statistical analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Special emphasis is placed on the assumptions that underly all ca ..."
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Cited by 23 (8 self)
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This review presents empirical researcherswith recent advances in causal inference, and stresses the paradigmatic shifts that must be undertaken in moving from traditional statistical analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Special emphasis is placed on the assumptions that underly all causal inferences, the languages used in formulating those assumptions, the conditional nature of all causal and counterfactual claims, and the methods that have been developed for the assessment of such claims. These advances are illustrated using a general theory of causation based on the Structural Causal Model (SCM) described in Pearl (2000a), which subsumes and unifies other approaches to causation, and provides a coherent mathematical foundation for the analysis of causes and counterfactuals. In particular, the paper surveys the development of mathematical tools for inferring (from a combination of data and assumptions) answers to three types of causal queries: (1) queries about the effects of potential interventions, (also called “causal effects ” or “policy evaluation”) (2) queries about probabilities of counterfactuals, (including assessment of “regret, ” “attribution” or “causes of effects”) and (3) queries about direct and indirect effects (also known as “mediation”). Finally, the paper defines the formal and conceptual relationships between the structural and potentialoutcome frameworks and presents tools for a symbiotic analysis that uses the strong features of both.
Automated Model Selection for Simulation Based on Relevance Reasoning
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... Constructing an appropriate model is a crucial step in performing the reasoning required to successfully answer a query about the behavior of a physical situation. In the compositional modeling approach [7], a system is provided with a library of composable pieces of knowledge about the physical wor ..."
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Cited by 21 (5 self)
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Constructing an appropriate model is a crucial step in performing the reasoning required to successfully answer a query about the behavior of a physical situation. In the compositional modeling approach [7], a system is provided with a library of composable pieces of knowledge about the physical world called model fragments. The model construction problem involves selecting appropriate model fragments to describe the situation. Model construction can be considered either for static analysis of a single state or for simulation of dynamic behavior over a sequence of states. The latter is significantly more difficult than the former since one must select model fragments without knowing exactly what will happen in the future states. The model construction problem in general can advantageously be formulated as a problem of reasoning about relevance of knowledge that is available to the system using a general framework for reasoning about relevance described in [21, 16]. In this paper, we p...
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 of counterfactuals, ..."
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Cited by 11 (5 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.