Incorporating Causal Prior Knowledge as Path-Constraints in Bayesian Networks and Maximal Ancestral
We consider the incorporation of causal knowledge about the presence or absence of (possibly indirect) causal relations into a causal model. Such causal relations correspond to directed paths in a causal model. This type of knowledge naturally arises from experimental data, among others. Specifically, we consider the formalisms of Causal Bayesian Networks and
Maximal Ancestral Graphs and their Markov equivalence classes: Partially Directed Acyclic Graphs and Partially Oriented Ancestral Graphs. We introduce sound and complete procedures which are able to incorporate causal prior knowledge in such models. In simulated experiments, we show that often considering even a few causal facts leads to a significant number of new inferences. In a case study, we also show how to use real experimental data to infer causal knowledge and incorporate it into a real biological causal
network. The code is available at mensxmachina.org.
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