Causal Transportability with Limited Experiments

In Proceedings of the 27th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 95-101, 2013.

7 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013

See all articles by Elias Bareinboim

Elias Bareinboim

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Judea Pearl

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department

Date Written: July 22, 2013

Abstract

We address the problem of transferring causal knowledge learned in one environment to another, potentially different environment, when only limited experiments may be conducted at the source. This generalizes the treatment of transportability introduced in [Pearl and Bareinboim, 2011; Bareinboim and Pearl, 2012b], which deals with transferring causal information when any experiment can be conducted at the source. Given that it is not always feasible to conduct certain controlled experiments, we consider the decision problem whether experiments on a selected subset Z of variables together with qualitative assumptions encoded in a diagram may render causal effects in the target environment computable from the available data. This problem, which we call Z-transportability, reduces to ordinary transportability when Z is all-inclusive, and, like the latter, can be given syntactic characterization using the do-calculus [Pearl, 1995; 2000]. This paper establishes a necessary and sufficient condition for causal effects in the target domain to be estimable from both the non-experimental information available and the limited experimental information transferred from the source. We further provides a complete algorithm for computing the transport formula, that is, a way of fusing experimental and observational information to synthesize an unbiased estimate of the desired causal relation.

Suggested Citation

Bareinboim, Elias and Pearl, Judea, Causal Transportability with Limited Experiments (July 22, 2013). In Proceedings of the 27th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 95-101, 2013., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343849

Elias Bareinboim

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Judea Pearl (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department ( email )

4732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~judea/

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