Invited Talk
Workshop: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better: Understanding Deep Learning Through Empirical Falsification

Kun Zhang: Causal Principles Meet Deep Learning: Successes and Challenges.

Kun Zhang


This talk is concerned with causal representation learning, which aims to reveal the underlying high-level hidden causal variables and their relations. It can be seen as a special case of causal discovery, whose goal is to recover the underlying causal structure or causal model from observational data. The modularity property of a causal system implies properties of minimal changes and independent changes of causal representations, and I will explain how such properties make it possible to recover the underlying causal representations from observational data with identifiability guarantees: under appropriate assumptions, the learned representations are consistent with the underlying causal process. The talk will consider various settings with independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) data, temporal data, or data with distribution shift as input, and demonstrate when identifiable causal representation learning can benefit from the flexibility of deep learning and when it has to impose parametric assumptions on the causal process.

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