Counterfactual Prediction for Outcome-Oriented Treatments

Hao Zou · Bo Li · Jiangang Han · Shuiping Chen · Xuetao Ding · Peng Cui

Hall E #1120

Keywords: [ MISC: Causality ] [ SA: Trustworthy Machine Learning ]


Large amounts of efforts have been devoted into learning counterfactual treatment outcome under various settings, including binary/continuous/multiple treatments. Most of these literature aims to minimize the estimation error of counterfactual outcome for the whole treatment space. However, in most scenarios when the counterfactual prediction model is utilized to assist decision-making, people are only concerned with the small fraction of treatments that can potentially induce superior outcome (i.e. outcome-oriented treatments). This gap of objective is even more severe when the number of possible treatments is large, for example under the continuous treatment setting. To overcome it, we establish a new objective of optimizing counterfactual prediction on outcome-oriented treatments, propose a novel Outcome-Oriented Sample Re-weighting (OOSR) method to make the predictive model concentrate more on outcome-oriented treatments, and theoretically analyze that our method can improve treatment selection towards the optimal one. Extensive experimental results on both synthetic datasets and semi-synthetic datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.

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