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# New metrics and search algorithms for weighted causal DAGs

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:5868-5903, 2023.

#### Abstract

Recovering causal relationships from data is an important problem. Using observational data, one can typically only recover causal graphs up to a Markov equivalence class and additional assumptions or interventional data are needed for complete recovery. In this work, under some standard assumptions, we study causal graph discovery via

*adaptive interventions with node-dependent interventional costs*. For this setting, we show that no algorithm can achieve an approximation guarantee that is asymptotically better than linear in the number of vertices with respect to the verification number; a well-established benchmark for adaptive search algorithms. Motivated by this negative result, we define a*new benchmark*that captures the worst-case interventional cost for any search algorithm. Furthermore, with respect to this new benchmark, we provide adaptive search algorithms that achieve logarithmic approximations under various settings: atomic, bounded size interventions and generalized cost objectives.