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[WK23] Benjie Wang and Marta Kwiatkowska. Compositional Probabilistic and Causal Inference using Tractable Circuit Models. In Proc. 26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS). 2023. [pdf] [bib]
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Abstract. Probabilistic circuits (PCs) are a class of tractable probabilistic models, which admit efficient inference routines depending on their structural properties. In this paper, we introduce md-vtrees, a novel structural formulation of (marginal) determinism in structured decomposable PCs, which generalizes previously proposed classes such as probabilistic sentential decision diagrams. Crucially, we show how md-vtrees can be used to derive tractability conditions and efficient algorithms for advanced inference queries expressed as arbitrary compositions of basic probabilistic operations, such as marginalization, multiplication and reciprocals, in a sound and generalizable manner. In particular, we derive the first polytime algorithms for causal inference queries such as backdoor adjustment on PCs. As a practical instantiation of the framework, we propose MDNets, a novel PC architecture using md-vtrees, and empirically demonstrate their application to causal inference.