Interventions and Causal Inference

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Eberhardt, Frederick; Scheines, Richard
conference paper description
The literature on causal discovery has focused on interventions that involve randomly assigning values to a single variable. But such a randomized intervention is not the only possibility, nor is it always optimal. In some cases it is impossible or it would be unethical to perform such an intervention. We provide an account of “hard” and “soft” interventions, and discuss what they can contribute to causal discovery. We also describe how the choice of the optimal intervention(s) depends heavily on the particular experimental set-up and the assumptions that can be made.