TARNet and Dragonnet: Causal Inference Between S- And T-Learners | by Dr. Robert Kübler | Mar, 2024


Discover ways to construct neural networks for direct causal inference

Picture by Geranimo on Unsplash

Constructing machine studying fashions is pretty straightforward these days, however usually, making good predictions shouldn’t be sufficient. On high, we wish to make causal statements about interventions. Figuring out with excessive accuracy {that a} buyer will go away our firm is sweet, however realizing what to do about it — for instance sending a coupon — is a lot better. This is a little more concerned, and I defined the fundamentals in my different article.

I like to recommend studying this text earlier than you proceed. I confirmed you how one can simply come to causal statements at any time when your options kind a adequate adjustment set, which I can even assume for the remainder of the article.

The estimation works utilizing so-called meta-learners. Amongst them, there are the S- and the T-learners, every with their very own set of disadvantages. On this article, I’ll present you one other strategy that may be seen as a tradeoff between these two meta-learners that can provide you higher outcomes.

Allow us to assume that you’ve got a dataset (X, t, y), the place X denotes some options, t is a definite binary remedy, and y is the end result. Allow us to briefly recap how the S- and T-learners work and once they don’t carry out effectively.


If you happen to use an S-learner, you repair a mannequin M and prepare it on the dataset such that M(X, t) y. Then, you compute

Therapy Results = M(X, 1) – M(X, 0)

and that’s it.

Picture by the writer.

The issue with this strategy is that the mode may select to disregard the characteristic t utterly. This sometimes occurs if you have already got a whole lot of options in X, and t drowns on this noise. If this…


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