Causal influence in linear Langevin networks without feedback

Phys Rev E. 2017 Apr;95(4-1):042315. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.042315. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


The intuition of causation is so fundamental that almost every research study in life sciences refers to this concept. However, a widely accepted formal definition of causal influence between observables is still missing. In the framework of linear Langevin networks without feedback (linear response models) we propose a measure of causal influence based on a new decomposition of information flows over time. We discuss its main properties and we compare it with other information measures like the transfer entropy. We are currently unable to extend the definition of causal influence to systems with a general feedback structure and nonlinearities.