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Combining Sources and Leveraging Contexts


Mazaheri, Bijan Henrik Socrates (2024) Combining Sources and Leveraging Contexts. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7t4d-xg91.


In this thesis we discuss two levels of knowledge beyond regression and classification. The first involves the identification of exchangeable scenarios or individuals from which causal relationships can be ascertained. We discuss one key difficulty of this task, the "Multi-Source Conundrum," which emerges whenever data is merged from multiple sources. This motivates the "Principle of Limited Latent Classes," an assumption which allows us to introduce new algorithms for deconfounding and causal structure learning.

The second level of knowledge involves the expansion from contextual exchangeability to contextual synthesis. We will study a paradox of nontransitivity that occurs when combining multiple contexts, as well a demonstrating robustness gains from using context-dependent counterfactuals as training features. Through these points, we present contextual synthesis as a new frontier with promise for advances in out-of-distribution robustness, fairness, and privacy.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Causal Inference, Expert Graphs, Causal Discovery, Mixture Models, Distribution Shift
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Bruck, Jehoshua (co-advisor)
  • Schulman, Leonard J. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Eberhardt, Frederick D. (chair)
  • Janzing, Dominik
  • Rabani, Yuval
  • Bruck, Jehoshua
  • Schulman, Leonard J.
Defense Date:15 August 2023
Non-Caltech Author Email:bijanmazaheri (AT)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE‐1745301
Amazon AI4Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06042024-004345614
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 4. adapted for Chapter 5. adapted for Chapters 6 and 7. adapted for Chapter 7. adapted for Chapter 8. DocumentArticle mentioned in Chapter 9. DocumentRelated Document. DocumentRelated Document. DocumentArticle material adapted for Chapter 3 motivation.
Mazaheri, Bijan Henrik Socrates0000-0001-9690-8686
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16496
Deposited By: Bijan Mazaheri
Deposited On:06 Jun 2024 21:49
Last Modified:17 Jun 2024 20:32

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