Title

N-1 Experiments Suffice to Determine the Causal Relations Among N Variables

Date of Original Version

12-7-2004

Type

Technical Report

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

By combining experimental interventions with search procedures for graphical causal models we show that under familiar assumptions, with perfect data, N - 1 experiments suffice to determine the causal relations among N > 2 variables when each experiment randomizes at most one variable. We show the same bound holds for adaptive learners, but does not hold for N > 4 when each experiment can simultaneously randomize more than one variable. This bound provides a type of ideal for the measure of success of heuristic approached in active learning methods of casual discovery, which currently use less informative measures.

Comments

CMU-PHIL-161