Axiomatization of Interventional Probability Distributions

by   Kayvan Sadeghi, et al.

Causal intervention is an essential tool in causal inference. It is axiomatized under the rules of do-calculus in the case of structure causal models. We provide simple axiomatizations for families of probability distributions to be different types of interventional distributions. Our axiomatizations neatly lead to a simple and clear theory of causality that has several advantages: it does not need to make use of any modeling assumptions such as those imposed by structural causal models; it only relies on interventions on single variables; it includes most cases with latent variables and causal cycles; and more importantly, it does not assume the existence of an underlying true causal graph–in fact, a causal graph is a by-product of our theory. We show that, under our axiomatizations, the intervened distributions are Markovian to the defined intervened causal graphs, and an observed joint probability distribution is Markovian to the obtained causal graph; these results are consistent with the case of structural causal models, and as a result, the existing theory of causal inference applies. We also show that a large class of natural structural causal models satisfy the theory presented here.


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