Causal inference in degenerate systems: An impossibility result

Yue Wang, Linbo Wang
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:3383-3392, 2020.

Abstract

Causal relationships among variables are commonly represented via directed acyclic graphs. There are many methods in the literature to quantify the strength of arrows in a causal acyclic graph. These methods, however, have undesirable properties when the causal system represented by a directed acyclic graph is degenerate. In this paper, we characterize a degenerate causal system using multiplicity of Markov boundaries. We show that in this case, it is impossible to find an identifiable quantitative measure of causal effects that satisfy a set of natural criteria. To supplement the impossibility result, we also develop algorithms to identify degenerate causal systems from observed data. Performance of our algorithms is investigated through synthetic data analysis.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v108-wang20i, title = {Causal inference in degenerate systems: An impossibility result}, author = {Wang, Yue and Wang, Linbo}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics}, pages = {3383--3392}, year = {2020}, editor = {Silvia Chiappa and Roberto Calandra}, volume = {108}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, month = {26--28 Aug}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/wang20i/wang20i.pdf}, url = { http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/wang20i.html }, abstract = {Causal relationships among variables are commonly represented via directed acyclic graphs. There are many methods in the literature to quantify the strength of arrows in a causal acyclic graph. These methods, however, have undesirable properties when the causal system represented by a directed acyclic graph is degenerate. In this paper, we characterize a degenerate causal system using multiplicity of Markov boundaries. We show that in this case, it is impossible to find an identifiable quantitative measure of causal effects that satisfy a set of natural criteria. To supplement the impossibility result, we also develop algorithms to identify degenerate causal systems from observed data. Performance of our algorithms is investigated through synthetic data analysis.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Causal inference in degenerate systems: An impossibility result %A Yue Wang %A Linbo Wang %B Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2020 %E Silvia Chiappa %E Roberto Calandra %F pmlr-v108-wang20i %I PMLR %P 3383--3392 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/wang20i.html %V 108 %X Causal relationships among variables are commonly represented via directed acyclic graphs. There are many methods in the literature to quantify the strength of arrows in a causal acyclic graph. These methods, however, have undesirable properties when the causal system represented by a directed acyclic graph is degenerate. In this paper, we characterize a degenerate causal system using multiplicity of Markov boundaries. We show that in this case, it is impossible to find an identifiable quantitative measure of causal effects that satisfy a set of natural criteria. To supplement the impossibility result, we also develop algorithms to identify degenerate causal systems from observed data. Performance of our algorithms is investigated through synthetic data analysis.
APA
Wang, Y. & Wang, L.. (2020). Causal inference in degenerate systems: An impossibility result. Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, in Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 108:3383-3392 Available from http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/wang20i.html .

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