Rate-Agnostic (Causal) Structure Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Authors

Sergey Plis, David Danks, Cynthia Freeman, Vince Calhoun

Abstract

<p>Causal structure learning from time series data is a major scientific challenge. Existing algorithms assume that measurements occur sufficiently quickly; more precisely, they assume that the system and measurement timescales are approximately equal. In many scientific domains, however, measurements occur at a significantly slower rate than the underlying system changes. Moreover, the size of the mismatch between timescales is often unknown. This paper provides three distinct causal structure learning algorithms, all of which discover all dynamic graphs that could explain the observed measurement data as arising from undersampling at some rate. That is, these algorithms all learn causal structure without assuming any particular relation between the measurement and system timescales; they are thus rate-agnostic. We apply these algorithms to data from simulations. The results provide insight into the challenge of undersampling.</p>