Causal Effect Identifiability under Partial-Observability

Jul 12, 2020

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Causal effect identifiability is concerned with establishing the effect of intervening on a set of variables on another set of variables from observational or interventional distributions under causal assumptions that are usually encoded in the form of a causal graph. Most of the results of this literature implicitly assume that every variable modeled in the graph is measured in the available distributions. In practice, however, the data collections of the different studies considered do not measure the same variables, consistently. In this paper, we study the causal effect identifiability problem when the available distributions may be associated with different sets of variables, which we refer to as identification under partial-observability. We study a number of properties of the factors that comprise a causal effect under various levels of abstraction, and then characterize the relationship between them with respect to their status relative to the identification of a targeted intervention. We establish a sufficient graphical criterion for determining whether the effects are identifiable from partially-observed distributions. Finally, building on these graphical properties, we develop an algorithm that returns a formula for a causal effect in terms of the available distributions.

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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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