Causal Transportability of Experiments on Controllable Subsets of Variables: z-Transportability

09/26/2013
by   Sanghack Lee, et al.
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We introduce z-transportability, the problem of estimating the causal effect of a set of variables X on another set of variables Y in a target domain from experiments on any subset of controllable variables Z where Z is an arbitrary subset of observable variables V in a source domain. z-Transportability generalizes z-identifiability, the problem of estimating in a given domain the causal effect of X on Y from surrogate experiments on a set of variables Z such that Z is disjoint from X;. z-Transportability also generalizes transportability which requires that the causal effect of X on Y in the target domain be estimable from experiments on any subset of all observable variables in the source domain. We first generalize z-identifiability to allow cases where Z is not necessarily disjoint from X. Then, we establish a necessary and sufficient condition for z-transportability in terms of generalized z-identifiability and transportability. We provide a correct and complete algorithm that determines whether a causal effect is z-transportable; and if it is, produces a transport formula, that is, a recipe for estimating the causal effect of X on Y in the target domain using information elicited from the results of experimental manipulations of Z in the source domain and observational data from the target domain. Our results also show that do-calculus is complete for z-transportability.

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