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Causal Inference under Networked Interference and Intervention Policy Enhancement

Yunpu Ma · Volker Tresp

Keywords: [ Deep Learning ] [ Graph Neural Networks ]


Estimating individual treatment effects from data of randomized experiments is a critical task in causal inference. The Stable Unit Treatment Value Assumption (SUTVA) is usually made in causal inference. However, interference can introduce bias when the assigned treatment on one unit affects the potential outcomes of the neighboring units. This interference phenomenon is known as spillover effect in economics or peer effect in social science. Usually, in randomized experiments or observational studies with interconnected units, one can only observe treatment responses under interference. Hence, the issue of how to estimate the superimposed causal effect and recover the individual treatment effect in the presence of interference becomes a challenging task in causal inference. In this work, we study causal effect estimation under general network interference using Graph Neural Networks, which are powerful tools for capturing node and link dependencies in graphs. After deriving causal effect estimators, we further study intervention policy improvement on the graph under capacity constraint. We give policy regret bounds under network interference and treatment capacity constraint. Furthermore, a heuristic graph structure-dependent error bound for Graph Neural Network-based causal estimators is provided.

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