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Paper No. 07-13

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E Riccomagno and JQ Smith

Algebraic Causality: Bayes Nets and Beyond

Abstract: The relationship between algebraic geometry and the inferential framework of the Bayesian Networks with hidden variables has now been fruitfully explored and exploited by a number of authors. More recently the algebraic formulation of Causal Bayesian Networks has also been investigated in this context. After reviewing these newer relationships, we proceed to demonstrate that many of the ideas embodied in the concept of a “causal model” can be more generally expressed directly in terms of a partial order and a family of polynomial maps. The more conventional graphical constructions, when available, remain a powerful tool.

Key words: Bayesian networks, causality, computational commutative algebra.