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26
Appendum to Identification of Conditional Interventional Distributions
, 2007
"... The subject of this paper is the elucidation of effects of actions from causal assumptions represented as a directed graph, and statistical knowledge given as a probability distribution. In particular, we are interested in predicting distributions on postaction outcomes given a set of measurements. ..."
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Cited by 41 (22 self)
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The subject of this paper is the elucidation of effects of actions from causal assumptions represented as a directed graph, and statistical knowledge given as a probability distribution. In particular, we are interested in predicting distributions on postaction outcomes given a set of measurements. We provide a necessary and sufficient graphical condition for the cases where such distributions can be uniquely computed from the available information, as well as an algorithm which performs this computation whenever the condition holds. Furthermore, we use our results to prove completeness of docalculus [Pearl, 1995] for the same identification problem, and show applications to sequential decision making. 1
Identifiability in causal bayesian networks: A sound and complete algorithm
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF THE TWENTYFIRST NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AAAI 2006), MENLO PARK, CA
, 2006
"... This paper addresses the problem of identifying causal effects from nonexperimental data in a causal Bayesian network, i.e., a directed acyclic graph that represents causal relationships. The identifiability question asks whether it is possible to compute the probability of some set of (effect) vari ..."
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Cited by 15 (0 self)
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This paper addresses the problem of identifying causal effects from nonexperimental data in a causal Bayesian network, i.e., a directed acyclic graph that represents causal relationships. The identifiability question asks whether it is possible to compute the probability of some set of (effect) variables given intervention on another set of (intervention) variables, in the presence of nonobservable (i.e., hidden or latent) variables. It is well known that the answer to the question depends on the structure of the causal Bayesian network, the set of observable variables, the set of effect variables, and the set of intervention variables. Our work is based on the work of Tian, Pearl, Huang, and Valtorta (Tian & Pearl 2002a; 2002b; 2003; Huang & Valtorta 2006a) and extends it. We show that the identify algorithm that Tian and Pearl define and prove sound for semiMarkovian models can be transfered to general causal graphs and is not only sound, but also complete. This result effectively solves the identifiability question for causal Bayesian networks that Pearl posed in 1995 (Pearl 1995), by providing a sound and complete algorithm for identifiability.
Dormant independence
 In Proceedings of the TwentyThird Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 2008
"... The construction of causal graphs from nonexperimental data rests on a set of constraints that the graph structure imposes on all probability distributions compatible with the graph. These constraints are of two types: conditional independencies and algebraic constraints, first noted by Verma. Whil ..."
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Cited by 14 (10 self)
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The construction of causal graphs from nonexperimental data rests on a set of constraints that the graph structure imposes on all probability distributions compatible with the graph. These constraints are of two types: conditional independencies and algebraic constraints, first noted by Verma. While conditional independencies are well studied and frequently used in causal induction algorithms, Verma constraints are still poorly understood, and rarely applied. In this paper we examine a special subset of Verma constraints which are easy to understand, easy to identify and easy to apply; they arise from “dormant independencies, ” namely, conditional independencies that hold in interventional distributions. We give a complete algorithm for determining if a dormant independence between two sets of variables is entailed by the causal graph, such that this independence is identifiable, in other words if it resides in an interventional distribution that can be predicted without resorting to interventions. We further show the usefulness of dormant independencies in model testing and induction by giving an algorithm that uses constraints entailed by dormant independencies to prune extraneous edges from a given causal graph.
Effects of treatment on the treated: Identification and generalization
 In Proceedings of the TwentyFifth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
, 2009
"... Many applications of causal analysis call for assessing, retrospectively, the effect of withholding an action that has in fact been implemented. This counterfactual quantity, sometimes called “effect of treatment on the treated, ” (ETT) have been used to to evaluate educational programs, critic publ ..."
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Cited by 12 (5 self)
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Many applications of causal analysis call for assessing, retrospectively, the effect of withholding an action that has in fact been implemented. This counterfactual quantity, sometimes called “effect of treatment on the treated, ” (ETT) have been used to to evaluate educational programs, critic public policies, and justify individual decision making. In this paper we explore the conditions under which ETT can be estimated from (i.e., identified in) experimental and/or observational studies. We show that, when the action invokes a singleton variable, the conditions for ETT identification have simple characterizations in terms of causal diagrams. We further give a graphical characterization of the conditions under which the effects of multiple treatments on the treated can be identified, as well as ways in which the ETT estimand can be constructed from both interventional and observational distributions. 1
Complete Identification Methods for the Causal Hierarchy
"... We consider a hierarchy of queries about causal relationships in graphical models, where each level in the hierarchy requires more detailed information than the one below. The hierarchy consists of three levels: associative relationships, derived from a joint distribution over the observable variabl ..."
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Cited by 7 (3 self)
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We consider a hierarchy of queries about causal relationships in graphical models, where each level in the hierarchy requires more detailed information than the one below. The hierarchy consists of three levels: associative relationships, derived from a joint distribution over the observable variables; causeeffect relationships, derived from distributions resulting from external interventions; and counterfactuals, derived from distributions that span multiple “parallel worlds ” and resulting from simultaneous, possibly conflicting observations and interventions. We completely characterize cases where a given causal query can be computed from information lower in the hierarchy, and provide algorithms that accomplish this computation. Specifically, we show when effects of interventions can be computed from observational studies, and when probabilities of counterfactuals can be computed from experimental studies. We also provide a graphical characterization of those queries which cannot be computed (by any method) from queries at a lower layer of the hierarchy.
Transportability of Causal Effects: Completeness Results
, 2012
"... The study of transportability aims to identify conditions under which causal information learned from experiments can be reused in a different environment where only passive observations can be collected. The theory introduced in [Pearl and Bareinboim, 2011] (henceforth [PB, 2011]) defines formal co ..."
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Cited by 7 (4 self)
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The study of transportability aims to identify conditions under which causal information learned from experiments can be reused in a different environment where only passive observations can be collected. The theory introduced in [Pearl and Bareinboim, 2011] (henceforth [PB, 2011]) defines formal conditions for such transfer but falls short of providing an effective procedure for deciding whether transportability is feasible for a given set of assumptions about differences between the source and target domains. This paper provides such procedure. It establishes a necessary and sufficient condition for deciding when causal effects in the target domain are estimable from both the statistical information available and the causal information transferred from the experiments. The paper further provides a complete algorithm for computing the transport formula, that is, a way of fusing experimental and observational information to synthesize an estimate of the desired causal relation.
A study of identifiability in causal Bayesian network
, 2006
"... This paper addresses the problem of identifying causal effects from nonexperimental data in a causal Bayesian network, i.e., a directed acyclic graph that represents causal relationships. The identifiability question asks whether it is possible to compute the probability of some set of (effect) vari ..."
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Cited by 5 (2 self)
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This paper addresses the problem of identifying causal effects from nonexperimental data in a causal Bayesian network, i.e., a directed acyclic graph that represents causal relationships. The identifiability question asks whether it is possible to compute the probability of some set of (effect) variables given intervention on another set of (intervention) variables, in the presence of nonobservable (i.e., hidden or latent) variables. It is well known that the answer to the question depends on the structure of the causal Bayesian network, the set of observable variables, the set of effect variables, and the set of intervention variables. Our work is based on the work of Tian and Pearl [1, 2, 3] and our own work [4], and extends it. We show that the identify algorithm that Tian and Pearl define and prove sound for semiMarkovian models can be transfered to general causal graphs and is not only sound, but also complete. This result effectively solves the identifiability question for causal Bayesian networks that Pearl posed in 1995 [5], by providing a sound and complete algorithm for identifiability. 1
Causal inference by surrogate experiments: zidentifiability
, 2012
"... We address the problem of estimating the effect of intervening on a set of variables X from experiments on a different set, Z, that is more accessible to manipulation. This problem, which we call zidentifiability, reduces to ordinary identifiability when Z = ∅ and, like the latter, can be given sy ..."
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Cited by 5 (2 self)
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We address the problem of estimating the effect of intervening on a set of variables X from experiments on a different set, Z, that is more accessible to manipulation. This problem, which we call zidentifiability, reduces to ordinary identifiability when Z = ∅ and, like the latter, can be given syntactic characterization using the docalculus [Pearl, 1995; 2000]. We provide a graphical necessary and sufficient condition for zidentifiability for arbitrary sets X, Z, and Y (the outcomes). We further develop a complete algorithm for computing the causal effect of X on Y using information provided by experiments on Z. Finally, we use our results to prove completeness of docalculus relative to zidentifiability, a result that does not follow from completeness relative to ordinary identifiability.
Regression and causation: A critical examination of econometrics textbooks
 Mimeo., UCLA Cognitive Systems Laboratory
, 2012
"... This report surveys six influential econometric textbooks in terms of their mathematical treatment of causal concepts. It highlights conceptual and notational differences among the authors and points to areas where they deviate significantly from modern standards of causal analysis. We find that eco ..."
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Cited by 4 (1 self)
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This report surveys six influential econometric textbooks in terms of their mathematical treatment of causal concepts. It highlights conceptual and notational differences among the authors and points to areas where they deviate significantly from modern standards of causal analysis. We find that econonometric textbooks vary from complete denial to partial acceptance of the causal content of econometric equations and, uniformly, fail to provide coherent mathematical notation that distinguishes causal from statistical concepts. This survey also provides a panoramic view of the state of causal thinking in econometric education which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been surveyed before. 1