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Counterfactuals underpin numerous techniques for auditing and understanding artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The traditional paradigm for counterfactual reasoning in this literature is the interventional counterfactual, where hypothetical interventions are imagined and simulated. For this reason, the starting point for causal reasoning about legal protections and demographic data in AI is an imagined intervention on a legally-protected characteristic, such as ethnicity, race, gender, disability, age, etc. We ask, for example, what would have happened had your race been different? An inherent limitation of this paradigm is that some demographic interventions — like interventions on race — may not be well-defined or translate into the formalisms of interventional counterfactuals. In this work, we explore a new paradigm based instead on the backtracking counterfactual, where rather than imagine hypothetical interventions on legally-protected characteristics, we imagine alternate initial conditions while holding these characteristics fixed. We ask instead, what would explain a counterfactual outcome for you as you actually are or could be? This alternate framework allows us to address many of the same social concerns, but to do so while asking fundamentally different questions that do not rely on demographic interventions.

This paper addresses the anytime sorting problem, aiming to develop algorithms providing tentative estimates of the sorted list at each execution step. Comparisons are treated as steps, and the Spearman's footrule metric evaluates estimation accuracy. We propose a general approach for making any sorting algorithm anytime and introduce two new algorithms: multizip sort and Corsort. Simulations showcase the superior performance of both algorithms compared to existing methods. Multizip sort keeps a low global complexity, while Corsort produces intermediate estimates surpassing previous algorithms.

Learning the causal structure of each individual plays a crucial role in neuroscience, biology, and so on. Existing methods consider data from each individual separately, which may yield inaccurate causal structure estimations in limited samples. To leverage more samples, we consider incorporating data from all individuals as population data. We observe that the variables of all individuals are influenced by the common environment variables they share. These shared environment variables can be modeled as latent variables and serve as a bridge connecting data from different individuals. In particular, we propose an Individual Linear Acyclic Model (ILAM) for each individual from population data, which models the individual's variables as being linearly influenced by their parents, in addition to environment variables and noise terms. Theoretical analysis shows that the model is identifiable when all environment variables are non-Gaussian, or even if some are Gaussian with an adequate diversity in the variance of noises for each individual. We then develop an individual causal structures learning method based on the Share Independence Component Analysis technique. Experimental results on synthetic and real-world data demonstrate the correctness of the method even when the sample size of each individual's data is small.

In multicriteria decision making, sophisticated decision models often involve a non-additive set function (named capacity) to define the weights of all subsets of criteria. This makes it possible to model criteria interactions, leaving room for a diversity of attitudes in criteria aggregation. Fitting a capacity-based decision model to a given Decision Maker is a challenging problem and several batch learning methods have been proposed in the literature to derive the capacity from a database of preference examples. In this paper, we introduce an online algorithm for learning a sparse representation of the capacity, designed for decision contexts where preference examples become available sequentially. Our method based on regularized dual averaging is also well fitted to decision contexts involving a large number of preference examples or a large number of criteria. Moreover, we propose a variant making it possible to include normative constraints on the capacity (e.g., monotonicity, supermodularity) while preserving scalability, based on the alternating direction method of multipliers.

In modern federated learning, one of the main challenges is to account for inherent heterogeneity and the diverse nature of data distributions for different clients. This problem is often addressed by introducing personalization of the models towards the data distribution of the particular client. However, a personalized model might be unreliable when applied to the data that is not typical for this client. Eventually, it may perform worse for these data than the non-personalized global model trained in a federated way on the data from all the clients. This paper presents a new approach to federated learning that allows selecting a model from global and personalized ones that would perform better for a particular input point. It is achieved through a careful modeling of predictive uncertainties that helps to detect local and global in- and out-of-distribution data and use this information to select the model that is confident in a prediction. The comprehensive experimental evaluation on the popular real-world image datasets shows the superior performance of the model in the presence of out-of-distribution data while performing on par with state-of-the-art personalized federated learning algorithms in the standard scenarios.

Uncontrolled confounding bias causes a spurious relationship between an exposure variable and an outcome variable and precludes reliable evaluation of the causal effect from observed data.Thus, it is important to observe a sufficient set of confounders to reliably evaluate the causal effect.However, there is no statistical method for judging whether an available set of covariates is sufficient to derive a reliable estimator for the causal effect.To address this problem, we focus on the fact that the mean squared error (MSE) of the outcome variable with respect to the average causal risk can be described as the sum of "the conditional variance of the outcome variable given the exposure variable" and "the square of the uncontrolled confounding bias".We then propose a novel sensitivity analysis, namely, the proportion-based sensitivity analysis of uncontrolled confounding bias in causal effects (PSA) in which the sensitivity parameter is formulated as the proportion of "the square of the uncontrolled confounding bias" to the MSE, and we clarify some properties.We also demonstrate the applicability of the PSA through two case studies.

Causal discovery on event sequences holds a pivotal significance across domains such as healthcare, finance, and industrial systems. The crux of this endeavor lies in unraveling causal structures among event types, typically portrayed as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs). Nonetheless, prevailing methodologies often grapple with untenable assumptions and intricate optimization hurdles. To address these challenges, we present a novel model named CausalNET. At the heart of CausalNET is a special prediction module based on the Transformer architecture, which prognosticates forthcoming events by leveraging historical occurrences, with its predictive prowess amplified by a trainable causal graph engineered to fathom causal relationships among event types. Further, to augment the predictive paradigm, we devise a causal decay matrix to encapsulate the reciprocal influence of events upon each other within the topological network. During training, we alternatively refine the prediction module and fine-tune the causal graph. Comprehensive evaluation on a spectrum of real-world and synthetic datasets underscores the superior performance and scalability of CausalNET, which marks a promising step forward in the realm of causal discovery. Code and Appendix are available at https://github.com/CGCL-codes/CausalNET.