Bayesian Nets and Causality
Philosophical and Computational Foundations
By (author) Jon Williamson
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Bayesian Nets and Causality by Jon Williamson
Book DescriptionBayesian nets are widely used in artificial intelligence as a calculus for causal reasoning, enabling machines to make predictions, perform diagnoses, take decisions and even to discover causal relationships. But many philosophers have criticised and ultimately rejected the central assumption on which such work is based - the Causal Markov Condition. So should Bayesian nets be abandoned? What explains their success in artificial intelligence? This book argues that the Causal Markov Condition holds as a default rule: it often holds but may need to be repealed in the face of counterexamples. Thus Bayesian nets are the right tool to use by default but naively applying them can lead to problems. The book develops a systematic account of causal reasoning and shows how Bayesian nets can be coherently employed to automate the reasoning processes of an artificial agent. The resulting framework for causal reasoning involves not only new algorithms but also new conceptual foundations. Probability and causality are treated as mental notions - part of an agent's belief state. Yet probability and causality are also objective - different agents with the same background knowledge ought to adopt the same or similar probabilistic and causal beliefs. This book, aimed at researchers and graduate students in computer science, mathematics and philosophy, provides a general introduction to these philosophical views as well as an exposition of the computational techniques that they motivate.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198530794
(242mm x 164mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 23-Dec-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jon Williamson
Causality in the Sciences, Hardback (March 2011)
Why do ideas of how mechanisms relate to causality and probability differ so much across the sciences? Can progress in understanding the tools of causal inference in some sciences lead to progress in others? This book tackles these questions and others concerning the use of causality in the sciences.
Key Terms in Logic, Paperback (September 2010)
Suitable for those facing the study of Logic for the first time, this book covers key thinkers, terms and texts. Part of "The Key Terms in Philosophy" series, it provides detailed summaries of the important concepts in the study of logic and the application of logic to the rest of philosophy.
In Defence of Objective Bayesianism, Hardback (May 2010)» View all books by Jon Williamson
Objective Bayesianism is a methodological theory that is currently applied in statistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, physics and other sciences. This book develops the formal and philosophical foundations of the theory, at a level accessible to a graduate student with some familiarity with mathematical notation.
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Author Biography - Jon Williamson
Jon Williamson is at the Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, London
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