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# Causal Inference Despite Limited Global Confounding via Mixture Models

*Proceedings of the Second Conference on Causal Learning and Reasoning*, PMLR 213:574-601, 2023.

#### Abstract

A Bayesian Network is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) on a set of $n$ random variables (the vertices); a Bayesian Network Distribution (BND) is a probability distribution on the random variables that is Markovian on the graph. A finite $k$-mixture of such models is graphically represented by a larger graph which has an additional “hidden” (or “latent”) random variable $U$, ranging in $\{1,\ldots,k\}$, and a directed edge from $U$ to every other vertex. Models of this type are fundamental to causal inference, where $U$ models an unobserved confounding effect of multiple populations, obscuring the causal relationships in the observable DAG. By solving the mixture problem and recovering the joint probability distribution with $U$, traditionally unidentifiable causal relationships become identifiable. Using a reduction to the more well-studied “product” case on empty graphs, we give the first algorithm to learn mixtures of non-empty DAGs.