Causal Inference with Deep Causal Graphs

15 Jun 2020  ·  Álvaro Parafita, Jordi Vitrià ·

Parametric causal modelling techniques rarely provide functionality for counterfactual estimation, often at the expense of modelling complexity. Since causal estimations depend on the family of functions used to model the data, simplistic models could entail imprecise characterizations of the generative mechanism, and, consequently, unreliable results. This limits their applicability to real-life datasets, with non-linear relationships and high interaction between variables. We propose Deep Causal Graphs, an abstract specification of the required functionality for a neural network to model causal distributions, and provide a model that satisfies this contract: Normalizing Causal Flows. We demonstrate its expressive power in modelling complex interactions and showcase applications of the method to machine learning explainability and fairness, using true causal counterfactuals.

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