@MISC{Pearl94aprobabilistic, author = {Judea Pearl}, title = {A Probabilistic Calculus of Actions}, year = {1994} }

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Abstract

We present a symbolic machinery that admits both probabilistic and causal information about a given domain, and produces probabilistic statements about the effect of actions and the impact of observations. The calculus admits two types of conditioning operators: ordinary Bayes conditioning, P (yjX = x), which represents the observation X = x, and causal conditioning, P (yjdo(X = x)), read: the probability of Y = y conditioned on holding X constant (at x) by deliberate action. Given a mixture of such observational and causal sentences, together with the topology of the causal graph, the calculus derives new conditional probabilities of both types, thus enabling one to quantify the effects of actions and observations. 1 Introduction Probabilistic methods, especially those based on graphical models have proven useful in tasks of predictions, abduction and belief revision [Pearl 1988, Heckerman 1990, Goldszmidt 1992, Darwiche 1993]. Their use in planning, however, remains less po...