Review of the Art of Causal Conjecture

David Hand


In 1992, Glenn Shafer completed a draft of three chapters for an intended book on join-tree compu-tation methods for combining evi-dence and other aspects of computa-tion in expert systems. However, he found his attention increasingly dis-tracted by the possibilities provided by probability trees for understanding probability and causality -- so much so, in fact, that instead of finishing the first book, he wrote a different one on this second topic. It is this second book that is the subject of this review, and it is easy to see why the power and breadth of the ideas seduced Shafer from his original purpose. (Do not despair, however, those three draft chapters have now also appeared, although without the others that were originally intended to accompany them, in Probabilistic Expert Systems, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 1996).

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