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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

A Guide for Practical Use of ADMG Causal Data Augmentation

Alessandro Leite

Abstract

Data augmentation is essential when applying Machine Learning in small-data regimes. It generates new samples following the observed data distribution while increasing their diversity and variability to help researchers and practitioners improve their models' robustness and, thus, deploy them in the real world. Nevertheless, its usage in tabular data still needs to be improved, as prior knowledge about the underlying data mechanism is seldom considered, limiting the fidelity and diversity of the generated data. Causal data augmentation strategies have been pointed out as a solution to handle these challenges by relying on conditional independence encoded in a causal graph. In this context, this paper experimentally analyzed the ADMG causal augmentation method considering different settings to support researchers and practitioners in understanding under which conditions prior knowledge helps generate new data points and, consequently, enhances the robustness of their models. The results highlighted that the studied method (a) is independent of the underlying model mechanism, (b) requires a minimal number of observations that may be challenging in a small-data regime to improve an ML model's accuracy, (c) propagates outliers to the augmented set degrading the performance of the model, and (d) is sensitive to its hyperparameter's value.

Dates and versions

hal-04250612 , version 1 (19-10-2023)

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Audrey Poinsot, Alessandro Leite. A Guide for Practical Use of ADMG Causal Data Augmentation. 2023. ⟨hal-04250612⟩
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