Revisiting causality using stochastics: 1.Theory

D. Koutsoyiannis, C. Onof, A. Christofides, and Z. W. Kundzewicz, Revisiting causality using stochastics: 1.Theory, Proceedings of The Royal Society A, 478 (2261), 20210835, doi:10.1098/rspa.2021.0835, 2022.

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[English]

Causality is a central concept in science, in philosophy and in life. However, reviewing various approaches to it over the entire knowledge tree, from philosophy to science and to scientific and technological applications, we locate several problems, which prevent these approaches from defining sufficient conditions for the existence of causal links. We thus choose to determine necessary conditions that are operationally useful in identifying or falsifying causality claims. Our proposed approach is based on stochastics, in which events are replaced by processes. Starting from the idea of stochastic causal systems, we extend it to the more general concept of hen-or-egg causality, which includes as special cases the classic causal, and the potentially causal and anti-causal systems. Theoretical considerations allow the development of an effective algorithm, applicable to large-scale open systems, which are neither controllable nor repeatable. The derivation and details of the algorithm are described in this paper, while in a companion paper we illustrate and showcase the proposed framework with a number of case studies, some of which are controlled synthetic examples and others real-world ones arising from interesting scientific problems.

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Our works referenced by this work:

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2. D. Koutsoyiannis, On the quest for chaotic attractors in hydrological processes, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 51 (6), 1065–1091, doi:10.1623/hysj.51.6.1065, 2006.
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8. D. Koutsoyiannis, and Z. W. Kundzewicz, Atmospheric temperature and CO₂: Hen-or-egg causality?, Sci, 2 (4), 83, doi:10.3390/sci2040083, 2020.
9. D. Koutsoyiannis, Stochastics of Hydroclimatic Extremes - A Cool Look at Risk, ISBN: 978-618-85370-0-2, 333 pages, Kallipos Open Academic Editions, Athens, 2021.
10. D. Koutsoyiannis, C. Onof, A. Christofides, and Z. W. Kundzewicz, Revisiting causality using stochastics: 2. Applications, Proceedings of The Royal Society A, 478 (2261), 20210836, doi:10.1098/rspa.2021.0836, 2022.

Our works that reference this work:

1. D. Koutsoyiannis, C. Onof, A. Christofides, and Z. W. Kundzewicz, Revisiting causality using stochastics: 2. Applications, Proceedings of The Royal Society A, 478 (2261), 20210836, doi:10.1098/rspa.2021.0836, 2022.

Tagged under: Climate stochastics, Determinism vs. stochasticity, Most recent works, Stochastics, Uncertainty