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38
Causes and explanations: A structuralmodel approach
 In Proceedings IJCAI01
, 2001
"... We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions ..."
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Cited by 121 (10 self)
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We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions
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 73 (23 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.
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 37 (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...
Explaining Counterexamples Using Causality
"... Abstract. When a model does not satisfy a given specification, a counterexample is produced by the model checker to demonstrate the failure. A user must then examine the counterexample trace, in order to visually identify the failure that it demonstrates. If the trace is long, or the specification i ..."
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Cited by 16 (0 self)
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Abstract. When a model does not satisfy a given specification, a counterexample is produced by the model checker to demonstrate the failure. A user must then examine the counterexample trace, in order to visually identify the failure that it demonstrates. If the trace is long, or the specification is complex, finding the failure in the trace becomes a nontrivial task. In this paper, we address the problem of analyzing a counterexample trace and highlighting the failure that it demonstrates. Using the notion of causality, introduced by Halpern and Pearl, we formally define a set of causes for the failure of the specification on the given counterexample trace. These causes are marked as red dots and presented to the user as a visual explanation of the failure. We study the complexity of computing the exact set of causes, and provide a polynomialtime algorithm that approximates it. This algorithm is implemented as a feature in the IBM formal verification platform RuleBase PE, where these visual explanations are an integral part of every counterexample trace. Our approach is independent of the tool that produced the counterexample, and can be applied as a lightweight external layer to any model checking tool, or used to explain simulation traces. 1
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 14 (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
Defaults and Normality in Causal Structures
"... A serious defect with the HalpernPearl (HP) definition of causality is repaired by combining a theory of causality with a theory of defaults. In addition, it is shown that (despite a claim to the contrary) a cause according to the HP condition need not be a single conjunct. A definition of causalit ..."
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Cited by 14 (5 self)
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A serious defect with the HalpernPearl (HP) definition of causality is repaired by combining a theory of causality with a theory of defaults. In addition, it is shown that (despite a claim to the contrary) a cause according to the HP condition need not be a single conjunct. A definition of causality motivated by Wright’s NESS test is shown to always hold for a single conjunct. Moreover, conditions that hold for all the examples considered by HP are given that guarantee that causality according to (this version) of the NESS test is equivalent to the HP definition. 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 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.
Causality and counterfactuals in the situation calculus
"... Structural causal models offer a popular framework for exploring causal concepts. However, due to their limited expressiveness, structural models have difficulties coping with such concepts as actual (eventtoevent) causation. In this paper, we propose a new type of causal model, based on embedding ..."
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Cited by 8 (1 self)
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Structural causal models offer a popular framework for exploring causal concepts. However, due to their limited expressiveness, structural models have difficulties coping with such concepts as actual (eventtoevent) causation. In this paper, we propose a new type of causal model, based on embedding structural considerations in the language of situation calculus. By using situation calculus as a basic language, we leverage its power to express complex, dynamically changing situations and, by relying on structural considerations, we can formulate an effective theory of counterfactuals within the situationcalculus. 1
Causal pluralism versus epistemic causality
, 2007
"... It is tempting to analyse causality in terms of just one of the indicators of causal relationships, e.g., mechanisms, probabilistic dependencies or independencies, counterfactual conditionals or agency considerations. While such an analysis will surely shed light on some aspect of our concept of cau ..."
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Cited by 7 (5 self)
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It is tempting to analyse causality in terms of just one of the indicators of causal relationships, e.g., mechanisms, probabilistic dependencies or independencies, counterfactual conditionals or agency considerations. While such an analysis will surely shed light on some aspect of our concept of cause, it will fail to capture the whole, rather multifarious, notion. So one might instead plump for pluralism: a different analysis for a different occasion. But we do not seem to have lots of different kinds of cause—just one eclectic notion. The resolution of this conundrum, I think, requires us to accept that our causal beliefs are generated by a wide variety of indicators, but to deny that this variety of indicators yields a variety of concepts of cause. This focus on the relation between evidence and causal beliefs leads to what I call epistemic causality. Under this view, certain causal beliefs are appropriate or rational on the basis of observed evidence; our notion of cause can be understood purely in terms of these rational