Title: Learning the Structure of Causal Models with Relational and Temporal Dependence
Authors: K. Marazopoulou, M. Maier, and D. Jensen
Venue: Proceedings of the UAI 2015 Conference on Advances in Causal Inference
Many real-world domains are inherently relational and temporal—they consist of heterogeneous entities that interact with each other over time. Effective reasoning about causality in such domains requires representations that explicitly model relational and temporal dependence. In this work, we provide a formalization of temporal relational models. We define temporal extensions to abstract ground graphs—a lifted representation that abstracts paths of dependence over all possible ground graphs. Temporal abstract ground graphs enable a sound and complete method for answering d-separation queries on temporal relational models. These methods provide the foundation for a constraint-based algorithm, TRCD, that learns causal models from temporal relational data. We provide experimental evidence that demonstrates the need to explicitly represent time when inferring causal dependence. We also demonstrate the expressive gain of TRCD compared to earlier algorithms that do not explicitly represent time.