Causal modeling with the TETRAD program

Synthese 68 (1):37 - 63 (1986)
Drawing substantive conclusions from linear causal models that perform acceptably on statistical tests is unreasonable if it is not known how alternatives fare on these same tests. We describe a computer program, TETRAD, that helps to search rapidly for plausible alternatives to a given causal structure. The program is based on principles from statistics, graph theory, philosophy of science, and artificial intelligence. We describe these principles, discuss how TETRAD employs them, and argue that these principles make TETRAD an effective tool. Finally, we illustrate TETRAD's effectiveness by applying it to a multiple indicator model of Political and Industrial development. A pilot version of the TETRAD program is described in this paper. The current version is described in our forthcoming Discovering Causal Structure: Artificial Intelligence for Statistical Modeling.
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