MathsGee Answers is Zero-Rated (You do not need data to access) on: Telkom | Dimension Data | Rain | MWEB
First time here? Checkout the FAQs!
Institutions: Global | Authors |Cars | Courseware |Ekurhuleni Libraries | Joburg Libraries | Startups | Tools |Tshwane Libraries | Math Worksheets | Visual Statistics

MathsGee is Zero-Rated (You do not need data to access) on: Telkom |Dimension Data | Rain | MWEB

0 like 0 dislike

Is there a way to grasp the correct causal structure on the basis of observation and without presupposing dispensable causal knowledge (this may be knowledge that the cause occurs earlier than its effect or knowledge about how to intervene on specific parameters without directly manipulating some of the other parameters of the system under investigation)?

in Data Science by Diamond (62,146 points) | 44 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
Best answer

In the absence of preconditions, temporal order information or any other information that can help an analyst infer causal direction before-hand, it is necessary to look at the relationship between $X$ and $Y$ from both directions i.e. 

\[X \rightarrow Y\]

\[Y \rightarrow X\]

The best illustration of why we need to take care when trying to establish the causal structure is Hempel's "flagpole problem". It states:


So it can be seen that the height of the pole and angle of the sun with the ground has a causal association to the length of the shadow but the the converse is not causal but can be calculated. This is evidence that mere correlations will not suffice in determining the causal structure of the system.

Like any mathematical equation, making one of the variables subject of formula with respect to the two given quantities, one can determine the value of the third, thus failing to detect any assymetries need to define a causal structure.

There is no objective difference between the the two directional associations but the shadow causing the height of the tree is pragmatically nonsensical.

James Woodward uses the idea of independence and initial conditions to determine the causal direction between the two directions.

Images source: Flagpoles, Anyone? Independence, Invariance and the Direction of Causation by James Woodward



by Diamond (62,146 points)

Welcome to MathsGee Answers, a free online study network where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7 for improved outcomes.

MathsGee Supporting City of Joburg

Enter your email address:

Registered Members Online
MathsGee Tools

Math Worksheet Generator

Math Algebra Solver

Trigonometry Simulations

Vectors Simulations

Matrix Arithmetic Simulations

Matrix Transformations Simulations

Quadratic Equations Simulations

Probability & Statistics Simulations

PHET Simulations

Visual Statistics

Interactive Courseware

ZeroEd Search Engine

Article Rewriter Tool

Word Counter Tool

Other Tools

STEM Gender Equality | ZOOM | Slack | eBook