A Bayesian Approach to Constraint Based Causal Inference
Tom Claassen, Tom Heskes
We target the problem of accuracy and robustness in causal inference from finite data sets. Some state-of-the-art algorithms produce clear output complete with solid theoretical guarantees but are susceptible to propagating erroneous decisions, while others are very adept at handling and representing uncertainty, but need to rely on undesirable assumptions. Our aim is to combine the inherent robustness of the Bayesian approach with the theoretical strength and clarity of constraint-based methods. We use a Bayesian score to obtain probability estimates on the input statements used in a constraint-based procedure. These are subsequently processed in decreasing order of reliability, letting more reliable decisions take precedence in case of con icts, until a single output model is obtained. Tests show that a basic implementation of the resulting Bayesian Constraint-based Causal Discovery (BCCD) algorithm already outperforms established procedures such as FCI and Conservative PC. It can also indicate which causal decisions in the output have high reliability and which do not.
PDF Link: /papers/12/p207-claassen.pdf
AUTHOR = "Tom Claassen
and Tom Heskes",
TITLE = "A Bayesian Approach to Constraint Based Causal Inference",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-12)",
PUBLISHER = "AUAI Press",
ADDRESS = "Corvallis, Oregon",
YEAR = "2012",
PAGES = "207--216"