# Learning Neural Causal Models from Unknown Interventions

##### Venue

##### Publication Year

##### Keywords

Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence,Computer Science - Machine Learning,Statistics - Machine Learning

### Authors

- Nan Rosemary Ke
- Olexa Bilaniuk
- Anirudh Goyal
- Stefan Bauer
- Hugo Larochelle
- Chris Pal
- Yoshua Bengio

### Abstract

Meta-learning over a set of distributions can be interpreted as learning different types of parameters corresponding to short-term vs long-term aspects of the mechanisms underlying the generation of data. These are respectively captured by quickly-changing parameters and slowly-changing meta-parameters. We present a new framework for meta-learning causal models where the relationship between each variable and its parents is modeled by a neural network, modulated by structural meta-parameters which capture the overall topology of a directed graphical model. Our approach avoids a discrete search over models in favour of a continuous optimization procedure. We study a setting where interventional distributions are induced as a result of a random intervention on a single unknown variable of an unknown ground truth causal model, and the observations arising after such an intervention constitute one meta-example. To disentangle the slow-changing aspects of each conditional from the fast-changing adaptations to each intervention, we parametrize the neural network into fast parameters and slow meta-parameters. We introduce a meta-learning objective that favours solutions robust to frequent but sparse interventional distribution change, and which generalize well to previously unseen interventions. Optimizing this objective is shown experimentally to recover the structure of the causal graph.