On deducing conditional independence from d-separation in causal graphs with feedback

Radford M. Neal, Dept. of Statistics and Dept. of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Pearl and Dechter (1996) claimed that the d-separation criterion for conditional independence in acyclic causal networks also applies to networks of discrete variables that have feedback cycles, provided that the variables of the system are uniquely determined by the random disturbances. I show by example that this is not true in general. Some condition stronger than uniqueness is needed, such as the existence of a causal dynamics guaranteed to lead to the unique solution.

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, vol. 12, pp. 87-91: postscript, pdf.