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71
A theory of causal learning in children: Causal maps and Bayes nets
 PSYCHOLOGICAL REVIEW
, 2004
"... The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate “causal map ” of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events ..."
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Cited by 157 (33 self)
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The authors outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. They propose that children use specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate “causal map ” of the world: an abstract, coherent, learned representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously understood in terms of the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or Bayes nets. Children’s causal learning and inference may involve computations similar to those for learning causal Bayes nets and for predicting with them. Experimental results suggest that 2to 4yearold children construct new causal maps and that their learning is consistent with the Bayes net formalism.
Structure and Strength in Causal Induction
"... We present a framework for the rational analysis of elemental causal induction – learning about the existence of a relationship between a single cause and effect – based upon causal graphical models. This framework makes precise the distinction between causal structure and causal strength: the diffe ..."
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Cited by 89 (30 self)
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We present a framework for the rational analysis of elemental causal induction – learning about the existence of a relationship between a single cause and effect – based upon causal graphical models. This framework makes precise the distinction between causal structure and causal strength: the difference between asking whether a causal relationship exists and asking how strong that causal relationship might be. We show that two leading rational models of elemental causal induction, ∆P and causal power, both estimate causal strength, and introduce a new rational model, causal support, that assesses causal structure. Causal support predicts several key phenomena of causal induction that cannot be accounted for by other rational models, which we explore through a series of experiments. These phenomena include the complex interaction between ∆P and the baserate probability of the effect in the absence of the cause, sample size effects, inferences from incomplete contingency tables, and causal learning from rates. Causal support also provides a better account of a number of existing datasets than either ∆P or causal power.
Theorybased Bayesian models of inductive learning and reasoning
 Trends in Cognitive Sciences
, 2006
"... Theorybased Bayesian models of inductive reasoning 2 Theorybased Bayesian models of inductive reasoning ..."
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Cited by 83 (19 self)
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Theorybased Bayesian models of inductive reasoning 2 Theorybased Bayesian models of inductive reasoning
Theorybased causal induction
 In
, 2003
"... Inducing causal relationships from observations is a classic problem in scientific inference, statistics, and machine learning. It is also a central part of human learning, and a task that people perform remarkably well given its notorious difficulties. People can learn causal structure in various s ..."
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Cited by 33 (14 self)
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Inducing causal relationships from observations is a classic problem in scientific inference, statistics, and machine learning. It is also a central part of human learning, and a task that people perform remarkably well given its notorious difficulties. People can learn causal structure in various settings, from diverse forms of data: observations of the cooccurrence frequencies between causes and effects, interactions between physical objects, or patterns of spatial or temporal coincidence. These different modes of learning are typically thought of as distinct psychological processes and are rarely studied together, but at heart they present the same inductive challenge—identifying the unobservable mechanisms that generate observable relations between variables, objects, or events, given only sparse and limited data. We present a computationallevel analysis of this inductive problem and a framework for its solution, which allows us to model all these forms of causal learning in a common language. In this framework, causal induction is the product of domaingeneral statistical inference guided by domainspecific prior knowledge, in the form of an abstract causal theory. We identify 3 key aspects of abstract prior knowledge—the ontology of entities, properties, and relations that organizes a domain; the plausibility of specific causal relationships; and the functional form of those relationships—and show how they provide the constraints that people need to induce useful causal models from sparse data.
Modeling individual differences using Dirichlet processes
, 2006
"... We introduce a Bayesian framework for modeling individual differences, in which subjects are assumed to belong to one of a potentially infinite number of groups. In this model, the groups observed in any particular data set are not viewed as a fixed set that fully explains the variation between indi ..."
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Cited by 28 (12 self)
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We introduce a Bayesian framework for modeling individual differences, in which subjects are assumed to belong to one of a potentially infinite number of groups. In this model, the groups observed in any particular data set are not viewed as a fixed set that fully explains the variation between individuals, but rather as representatives of a latent, arbitrarily rich structure. As more people are seen, and more details about the individual differences are revealed, the number of inferred groups is allowed to grow. We use the Dirichlet process—a distribution widely used in nonparametric Bayesian statistics—to define a prior for the model, allowing us to learn flexible parameter distributions without overfitting the data, or requiring the complex computations typically required for determining the dimensionality of a model. As an initial demonstration of the approach, we present three applications that analyze the individual differences in category learning, choice of publication outlets, and webbrowsing behavior.
Locally Bayesian Learning with Applications to Retrospective Revaluation and Highlighting
 Psychological Review
, 2006
"... A scheme is described for locally Bayesian parameter updating in models structured as successions of component functions. The essential idea is to backpropagate the target data to interior modules, such that an interior component’s target is the input to the next component that maximizes the probab ..."
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Cited by 26 (7 self)
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A scheme is described for locally Bayesian parameter updating in models structured as successions of component functions. The essential idea is to backpropagate the target data to interior modules, such that an interior component’s target is the input to the next component that maximizes the probability of the next component’s target. Each layer then does locally Bayesian learning. The approach assumes online trialbytrial learning. The resulting parameter updating is not globally Bayesian but can better capture human behavior. The approach is implemented for an associative learning model that first maps inputs to attentionally filtered inputs and then maps attentionally filtered inputs to outputs. The Bayesian updating allows the associative model to exhibit retrospective revaluation effects such as backward blocking and unovershadowing, which have been challenging for associative learning models. The backpropagation of target values to attention allows the model to show trialorder effects, including highlighting and differences in magnitude of forward and backward blocking, which have been challenging for Bayesian learning models.
Language Evolution by Iterated Learning With Bayesian Agents
, 2007
"... Languages are transmitted from person to person and generation to generation via a process of iterated learning: people learn a language from other people who once learned that language themselves. We analyze the consequences of iterated learning for learning algorithms based on the principles of Ba ..."
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Cited by 25 (6 self)
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Languages are transmitted from person to person and generation to generation via a process of iterated learning: people learn a language from other people who once learned that language themselves. We analyze the consequences of iterated learning for learning algorithms based on the principles of Bayesian inference, assuming that learners compute a posterior distribution over languages by combining a prior (representing their inductive biases) with the evidence provided by linguistic data. We show that when learners sample languages from this posterior distribution, iterated learning converges to a distribution over languages that is determined entirely by the prior. Under these conditions, iterated learning is a form of Gibbs sampling, a widelyused Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The consequences of iterated learning are more complicated when learners choose the language with maximum posterior probability, being affected by both the prior of the learners and the amount of information transmitted between generations. We show that in this case, iterated learning corresponds to another statistical inference algorithm, a variant of the expectationmaximization (EM) algorithm. These results clarify the role of iterated learning in explanations of linguistic universals and provide a formal connection between constraints on language acquisition and the languages that come to be spoken, suggesting that information transmitted via iterated learning will ultimately come to mirror the minds of the learners.
Seeing versus doing: Two modes of accessing causal knowledge
 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
, 2005
"... The ability to derive predictions for the outcomes of potential actions from observational data is one of the hallmarks of true causal reasoning. We present four learning experiments with deterministic and probabilistic data showing that people indeed make different predictions from causal models, w ..."
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Cited by 24 (7 self)
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The ability to derive predictions for the outcomes of potential actions from observational data is one of the hallmarks of true causal reasoning. We present four learning experiments with deterministic and probabilistic data showing that people indeed make different predictions from causal models, whose parameters were learned in a purely observational learning phase, depending on whether learners believe that an event within the model has been merely observed (“seeing”) or was actively manipulated (“doing”). The predictions reflect sensitivity both to the structure of the causal models and to the size of their parameters. This competency is remarkable because the predictions for potential interventions were very different from the patterns that had actually been observed. Whereas associative and probabilistic theories fail, recent developments of causal Bayes net theories provide tools for modeling this competency. Causal knowledge underlies our ability to predict future events, to explain the occurrence of present events, and to achieve goals by means of actions. Thus, causal knowledge belongs to one of our most central cognitive competencies. However, the nature of causal knowledge has been debated. A number of philosophers and
Bayesian models of cognition
"... For over 200 years, philosophers and mathematicians have been using probability theory to describe human cognition. While the theory of probabilities was first developed as a means of analyzing games of chance, it quickly took on a larger and deeper significance as a formal account of how rational a ..."
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Cited by 23 (1 self)
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For over 200 years, philosophers and mathematicians have been using probability theory to describe human cognition. While the theory of probabilities was first developed as a means of analyzing games of chance, it quickly took on a larger and deeper significance as a formal account of how rational agents should reason in situations of uncertainty
Beyond covariation: Cues to causal structure
 In A. Gopnik & L. Schulz (Eds.), Causal learning: Psychology, philosophy, and computation
, 2006
"... computation. In preparation. Address for correspondence: ..."
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Cited by 22 (6 self)
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computation. In preparation. Address for correspondence: