Title

Weakening faithfulness : some heuristic causal discovery algorithms

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

International Journal of Data Science and Analytics

Publication Date

3-2017

Volume

3

Issue

2

First Page

93

Last Page

104

Publisher

Springer

Keywords

Causal discovery, Faithfulness, PC, GES

Abstract

We examine the performance of some standard causal discovery algorithms, both constraint-based and score-based, from the perspective of how robust they are against (almost) failures of the Causal Faithfulness Assumption. For this purpose, we make only the so-called Triangle-Faithfulness assumption, which is a fairly weak consequence of the Faithfulness assumption, and otherwise allows unfaithful distributions. In particular, we allow violations of Adjacency-Faithfulness and Orientation-Faithfulness. We show that the (conservative) PC algorithm, a representative constraint-based method, can be made more robust against unfaithfulness by incorporating elements of the GES algorithm, a representative score-based method; similarly, the GES algorithm can be made less error-prone by incorporating elements of the conservative PC algorithm. As our simulations demonstrate, the increased robustness seems to matter even when faithfulness is not exactly violated, for with only finite sample, distributions that are not exactly unfaithful may be sufficiently close to being unfaithful to make trouble.

DOI

10.1007/s41060-016-0033-y

Print ISSN

2364415X

E-ISSN

23644168

Funding Information

JZ’s research was supported in part by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong under the General Research Fund LU342213.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Zhalama, Zhang, J. & Mayer, W. (2017). Weakening faithfulness: Some heuristic causal discovery algorithms. International Journal of Data Science and Analytics, 3(2), 93-104. doi: 10.1007/s41060-016-0033-y