Causal relevance

  • Glenn Shafer
Invited Lectures
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1093)


Concepts of causal relevance and irrelevance are readily formulated in the context of Bayes nets, but these formulations have significant shortcomings. Most importantly, they do not allow for the great variety that can be observed in the temporal configuration of causally related entities. For example, they deal awkwardly with progressive causation, where continued action of a cause continues to enhance an effect. This article discusses how such subtleties can be handled when we look beyond Bayes nets to a more fundamental structure: nature's probability tree.


Bayes net causality probability tree relevance refinement sign simplification tracking 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bollen, Kenneth A. (1989). Structural Equations with Latent Variables. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Humphreys, Paul (1989). The Chances of Explanation: Causal Explanation in the Social, Medical, and Physical Sciences. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Mackie, J. L. (1974). The Cement of the Universe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Marini, Margaret Mooney, and Burton Singer (1988). Causality in the Social Sciences. Sociological Methodology 18 347–409.Google Scholar
  5. Pearl, Judea (1988). Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems. San Mateo, California: Morgan Kaufmann.Google Scholar
  6. Raiffa, Howard (1968). Decision Analysis. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  7. Shafer, Glenn (1996). The Art of Causal Conjecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Shoham, Yoav (1988). Reasoning about Change: Time and Causation from the Standpoint of Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  9. Terenziani, Paolo, and Pietro Torasso (1995). Time, action-types, and causation: an integrated analysis. Computational Intelligence 11 529–552.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn Shafer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Accounting and Information Systems Faculty of ManagementRutgers UniversityNewark

Personalised recommendations