Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Computer Science

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

David Jensen

Subject Categories

Computer Sciences

Abstract

Discovering causal dependence is central to understanding the behavior of complex systems and to selecting actions that will achieve particular outcomes. The majority of work in this area has focused on propositional domains, where data instances are assumed to be independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.). However, many real-world domains are inherently relational, i.e., they consist of multiple types of entities that interact with each other, and temporal, i.e., they change over time. This thesis focuses on causal modeling for these more complex relational and temporal domains. This thesis provides an in-depth investigation of the properties of relational models and is extending their expressivity to include a temporal dimension. Specifically, we first investigate alternative ways to ground relational models, and we provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of alternative grounding semantics for feature construction, causal effect estimation, and model selection. Then, we extend relational models to represent discrete time. We generalize the theory of d-separation for this class of temporal and relational models. Finally, we provide a constraint-based algorithm, TRCD, to learn the structure of temporal relational models from data.

Share

COinS