Monthly
288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
ISSN
0899-7667
E-ISSN
1530-888X
2014 Impact factor:
2.21

Neural Computation

January 2014, Vol. 26, No. 1, Pages 57-83
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00533)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ParceLiNGAM: A Causal Ordering Method Robust Against Latent Confounders
Article PDF (719.03 KB)
Abstract

We consider learning a causal ordering of variables in a linear nongaussian acyclic model called LiNGAM. Several methods have been shown to consistently estimate a causal ordering assuming that all the model assumptions are correct. But the estimation results could be distorted if some assumptions are violated. In this letter, we propose a new algorithm for learning causal orders that is robust against one typical violation of the model assumptions: latent confounders. The key idea is to detect latent confounders by testing independence between estimated external influences and find subsets (parcels) that include variables unaffected by latent confounders. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method using artificial data and simulated brain imaging data.