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Trust Your $\nabla$: Gradient-based Intervention Targeting for Causal Discovery

Mateusz Olko · Michał Zając · Aleksandra Nowak · Nino Scherrer · Yashas Annadani · Stefan Bauer · Łukasz Kuciński · Piotr Miłoś

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #902
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[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST


Inferring causal structure from data is a challenging task of fundamental importance in science. Often, observational data alone is not enough to uniquely identify a system’s causal structure. The use of interventional data can address this issue, however, acquiring these samples typically demands a considerable investment of time and physical or financial resources. In this work, we are concerned with the acquisition of interventional data in a targeted manner to minimize the number of required experiments. We propose a novel Gradient-based Intervention Targeting method, abbreviated GIT, that ’trusts’ the gradient estimator of a gradient-based causal discovery framework to provide signals for the intervention targeting function. We provide extensive experiments in simulated and real-world datasets and demonstrate that GIT performs on par with competitive baselines, surpassing them in the low-data regime.

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