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Causal Bounds and Observable Constraints for Non-deterministic Models

Roland R. Ramsahai; 13(29):829−848, 2012.


Conditional independence relations involving latent variables do not necessarily imply observable independences. They may imply inequality constraints on observable parameters and causal bounds, which can be used for falsification and identification. The literature on computing such constraints often involve a deterministic underlying data generating process in a counterfactual framework. If an analyst is ignorant of the nature of the underlying mechanisms then they may wish to use a model which allows the underlying mechanisms to be probabilistic. A method of computation for a weaker model without any determinism is given here and demonstrated for the instrumental variable model, though applicable to other models. The approach is based on the analysis of mappings with convex polytopes in a decision theoretic framework and can be implemented in readily available polyhedral computation software. Well known constraints and bounds are replicated in a probabilistic model and novel ones are computed for instrumental variable models without non-deterministic versions of the randomization, exclusion restriction and monotonicity assumptions respectively.

© JMLR 2012. (edit, beta)