# Everything that can be learned about a causal structure with latent variables by observational and interventional probing schemes

### APA

Maciel Ansanelli, M. (2024). Everything that can be learned about a causal structure with latent variables by observational and interventional probing schemes. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/24090191

### MLA

Maciel Ansanelli, Marina. Everything that can be learned about a causal structure with latent variables by observational and interventional probing schemes. Perimeter Institute, Sep. 12, 2024, https://pirsa.org/24090191

### BibTex

@misc{ pirsa_PIRSA:24090191, doi = {10.48660/24090191}, url = {https://pirsa.org/24090191}, author = {Maciel Ansanelli, Marina}, keywords = {}, language = {en}, title = {Everything that can be learned about a causal structure with latent variables by observational and interventional probing schemes}, publisher = {Perimeter Institute}, year = {2024}, month = {sep}, note = {PIRSA:24090191 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}} }

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Talk Type

Abstract

What types of differences among causal structures with latent variables are impossible to distinguish by statistical data obtained by probing each visible variable? If the probing scheme is simply passive observation, then it is well-known that many different causal structures can realize the same joint probability distributions. Even for the simplest case of two visible variables, for instance, one cannot distinguish between causal influence of one variable on the other and the two variables sharing a latent common cause. However, it is possible to distinguish between these two causal structures if we have recourse to more powerful probing schemes, such as the possibility of intervening on one of the variables and observing the other. Herein, we address the question of which causal structures remain indistinguishable even given the most informative types of probing schemes on the visible variables. We find that two causal structures remain indistinguishable if and only if they are both associated with the same mDAG structure (as defined by Evans (2016)). We also consider the question of when one causal structure dominates another in the sense that it can realize all of the joint probability distributions that can be realized by the other using a given probing scheme. (Equivalence of causal structures is the special case of mutual dominance.) Finally, we investigate to what extent one can weaken the probing schemes implemented on the visible variables and still have the same discrimination power as a maximally informative probing scheme.