Ordinal Causal Discovery Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Causal discovery for purely observational, categorical data is a long-standing challenging problem. Unlike continuous data, the vast majority of existing methods for categorical data focus on inferring the Markov equivalence class only, which leaves the direction of some causal relationships undetermined. This paper proposes an identifiable ordinal causal discovery method that exploits the ordinal information contained in many real-world applications to uniquely identify the causal structure. The proposed method is applicable beyond ordinal data via data discretization. Through real-world and synthetic experiments, we demonstrate that the proposed ordinal causal discovery method combined with simple score-and-search algorithms has favorable and robust performance compared to state-of-the-art alternative methods in both ordinal categorical and non-categorical data. An accompanied R package OrdCD is freely available on CRAN and at https://web.stat.tamu.edu/~yni/files/OrdCD_1.0.0.tar.gz.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ni, Y., & Mallick, B.

complete list of authors

  • Ni, Yang||Mallick, Bani

publication date

  • January 2022