Learning the Structure of Linear Latent Variable Models
journal contributionposted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ricardo Silva, Richard Scheines, Clark Glymour, Peter Spirtes
We describe anytime search procedures that (1) find disjoint subsets of recorded variables for which the members of each subset are d-separated by a single common unrecorded cause, if such exists; (2) return information about the causal relations among the latent factors so identified. We prove the procedure is point-wise consistent assuming (a) the causal relations can be represented by a directed acyclic graph (DAG) satisfying the Markov Assumption and the Faithfulness Assumption; (b) unrecorded variables are not caused by recorded variables; and (c) dependencies are linear. We compare the procedure with standard approaches over a variety of simulated structures and sample sizes, and illustrate its practical value with brief studies of social science data sets. Finally, we consider generalizations for non-linear systems.