Introduction to Causality: Structural Causal Modelling


In this talk we will introduce one of the most important formalisms to represent causal systems in computer science. We will start with a brief review of causality, highlighting the meaning of causal queries and the limitations of standard statistics and machine learning in answering them. To address these shortcomings, we will present the formalism of structural causal models (SCMs). We will then show how these models can be used to rigorously answer different types of causal questions, including observational, interventional and counterfactual questions. Finally, we will conclude by discussing how this formalization gives rise to a rich theory of causality, and how the ideas underlying causality have strong and promising intersections with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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