Multiscale Causal Structure Learning

Published: 03 Oct 2023, Last Modified: 03 Oct 2023Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Causal structure learning methods are vital for unveiling causal relationships embedded into observed data. However, the state of the art suffers a major limitation: it assumes that causal interactions occur only at the frequency at which data is observed. To address this limitation, this paper proposes a method that allows structural learning of linear causal relationships occurring at different time scales. Specifically, we explicitly take into account instantaneous and lagged inter-relations between multiple time series, represented at different scales, hinging on wavelet transform. We cast the problem as the learning of a multiscale causal graph having sparse structure and dagness constraints, enforcing causality through directed and acyclic topology. To solve the resulting (non-convex) formulation, we propose an algorithm termed MS-CASTLE, which exhibits consistent performance across different noise distributions and wavelet choices. We also propose a single-scale version of our algorithm, SS-CASTLE, which outperforms existing methods in computational efficiency, performance, and robustness on synthetic data. Finally, we apply the proposed approach to learn the multiscale causal structure of the risk of 15 global equity markets, during covid-19 pandemic, illustrating the importance of multiscale analysis to reveal useful interactions at different time resolutions. Financial investors can leverage our approach to manage risk within equity portfolios from a causal perspective, tailored to their investment horizon.
Submission Length: Long submission (more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Roman_Garnett1
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Number: 1300