Measuring causal interaction in bayesian networks

Charles R. Twardy
George Mason University
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Philosophy of Science share a fundamental problem—understanding causality. Bayesian networks have recently been used by Judea Pearl in a new approach to understanding causality (Pearl, 2000). Part of understanding causality is understanding causal interaction. Bayes nets can represent any degree of causal interaction, and researchers normally try to limit interactions, usually by replacing the full CPT with a noisy-OR function. But we show that noisy-OR and another common model are merely special cases of the general linear systems definition of noninteraction. However, they apply in different situations, and we can measure the degree of causal interaction relative to any such model.
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