Generalization Bounds and Representation Learning for Estimation of Potential Outcomes and Causal Effects

01/21/2020 ∙ by Fredrik D. Johansson, et al. ∙ 89

Practitioners in diverse fields such as healthcare, economics and education are eager to apply machine learning to improve decision making. The cost and impracticality of performing experiments and a recent monumental increase in electronic record keeping has brought attention to the problem of evaluating decisions based on non-experimental observational data. This is the setting of this work. In particular, we study estimation of individual-level causal effects, such as a single patient's response to alternative medication, from recorded contexts, decisions and outcomes. We give generalization bounds on the error in estimated effects based on distance measures between groups receiving different treatments, allowing for sample re-weighting. We provide conditions under which our bound is tight and show how it relates to results for unsupervised domain adaptation. Led by our theoretical results, we devise representation learning algorithms that minimize our bound, by regularizing the representation's induced treatment group distance, and encourage sharing of information between treatment groups. We extend these algorithms to simultaneously learn a weighted representation to further reduce treatment group distances. Finally, an experimental evaluation on real and synthetic data shows the value of our proposed representation architecture and regularization scheme.

READ FULL TEXT
POST COMMENT

Comments

There are no comments yet.

Authors

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.