Computation, Causation, and Discovery
Clark Glymour, Gregory F. CooperISBN: 0262571242; 9780262571241;
In science, business, and policymaking--anywhere data are used in prediction--two sorts of problems requiring very different methods of analysis often arise. The first, problems of recognition and classification, concerns learning how to use some features of a system to accurately predict other features of that system. The second, problems of causal discovery, concerns learning how to predict those changes to some features of a system that will result if an intervention changes other features. This book is about the second--much more difficult--type of problem. Typical problems of causal discovery are: How will a change in commission rates affect the total sales of a company? How will a reduction in cigarette smoking among older smokers affect their life expectancy? How will a change in the formula a college uses to award scholarships affect its dropout rate? These sorts of changes are interventions that directly alter some features of the system and perhaps--and this is...