Shaking the causal tree: On the faithfulness and minimality assumptions beyond pairwise interactions [article]

Tiago Martinelli, Diogo O. Soares-Pinto, Francisco A. Rodrigues
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Built upon the concept of causal faithfulness, the so-called causal discovery algorithms propose the breakdown of mutual information (MI) and conditional mutual information (CMI) into sets of variables to reveal causal influences. These algorithms suffer from the lack of accounting emergent causes when connecting links, resulting in a spuriously embellished view of the organization of complex systems. Here, we show that causal emergent information is necessarily contained in CMIs. We also
more » ... t this result with the intrinsic violation of faithfulness and elucidate the importance of the concept of causal minimality. Finally, we show how faithfulness can be wrongly assumed only because of the appearance of spurious correlations by providing an example of a non-pairwise systems which should violate faithfulness, in principle, but it does not. The net result proposes an update to causal discovery algorithms, which can, in principle, detect and isolate emergent causal influences in the network reconstruction problems undetected so far.
arXiv:2203.10665v2 fatcat:k5gk6m44znh3fh47zwgf72a3v4