Clippings from Issue 2001d


Established in 1940


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2001d:68213 68T37 03B48 68-02

Pearl, Judea (1-UCLA-CG; Los Angeles, CA)

*Causality. (English summary)

Models, reasoning, and inference.

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. xvi+384 pp.

$39.95. ISBN 0-521-77362-8

In this book the author provides a comprehensive and incredibly

lucid account of probabilistic and graphical models for causality

and describes how the representation of causal information can allow feasible reasoning about complex situations.


The introductory section describes how causal networks can be modelled using the notion of acyclic graphs. This approach is then

related to functional causal models consisting of structural equations. Also discussed is the effect of actions on causal networks and how networks can be updated in the light of new information. Later sections describe algorithms for learning networks from data based, for example, on notions of model preference and Occam's razor.


Overall this book is a rich contribution to the areas of statistics and artificial intelligence. It describes ideas at the cutting edge of research into causal networks while being extraordinarily accessible.

               Jonathan Lawry (4-BRST-EM; Bristol)