The Frugal Inference of Causal Relations

Malcolm Forster, Garvesh Raskutti, Reuben Stern, Naftali Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)


Recent approaches to causal modelling rely upon the causal Markov condition, which specifies which probability distributions are compatible with a directed acyclic graph (DAG). Further principles are required in order to choose among the large number of DAGs compatible with a given probability distribution. Here we present a principle that we call frugality. This principle tells one to choose the DAG with the fewest causal arrows. We argue that frugality has several desirable properties compared to the other principles that have been suggested, including the well-known causal faithfulness condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-848
JournalThe British Journal for Philosophy of Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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