A Practical Data Repository for Causal Learning with Big Data

The recent success in machine learning (ML) has led to a massive emergence of AI applications and the increases in expectations for AI systems to achieve human-level intelligence. Nevertheless, these expectations have met with multi-faceted obstacles. One major obstacle is ML aims to predict future observations given real-world data dependencies while human-level intelligence AI is often beyond prediction and seeks the underlying causal mechanism. Another major obstacle is that the availability of large-scale datasets has significantly influenced causal study in various disciplines. It is crucial to leverage effective ML techniques to advance causal learning with big data. Existing benchmark datasets for causal inference have limited use as they are too “ideal”, i.e., small, clean, homogeneous, low-dimensional, to describe real-world scenarios where data is often large, noisy, heterogeneous and high-dimensional. It, therefore, severely hinders the successful marriage of causal inference and ML. In this paper, we formally address this issue by systematically investigating existing datasets for two fundamental tasks in causal inference: causal discovery and causal effect estimation. We also review the datasets for two ML tasks naturally connected to causal inference. We then provide hindsight regarding the advantages, disadvantages and the limitations of these datasets. Please refer to our github repository (https://github.com/rguo12/awesome-causality-data) for all the discussed datasets in this work

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