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Causal Inference in Statistics: A Primer Judea Pearl, Computer Science and Statistics, University of California Los Angeles, USA Madelyn Glymour, Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA and Nicholas P. Jewell, Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA Causality is central to the understanding and use of data. Without an understanding of cause effect relationships, we cannot use data to answer questions as basic as, "Does this treatment harm or help patients?" But though hundreds of introductory texts are available on statistical methods of data analysis, until now, no beginner-level book has been written about the exploding arsenal of methods that can tease causal information from data. Causal Inference in Statistics fills that gap. Using simple examples and plain language, the book lays out how to define causal parameters; the assumptions necessary to estimate causal parameters in a variety of situations; how to express those assumptions mathematically; whether those assumptions have testable implications; how to predict the effects of interventions; and how to reason counterfactually. These are the foundational tools that any student of statistics needs to acquire in order to use statistical methods to answer causal questions of interest. This book is accessible to anyone with an interest in interpreting data, from undergraduates, professors, researchers, or to the interested layperson. Examples are drawn from a wide variety of fields, including medicine, public policy, and law; a brief introduction to probability and statistics is provided for the uninitiated; and each chapter comes with study questions to reinforce the readers understanding.
Written by one of the pre-eminent researchers in the field, this book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable. Professor of Computer Science at the UCLA, Judea Pearl is the winner of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award in Computers and Cognitive Science.
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