FLAME: A Fast Large-scale Almost Matching Exactly Approach to Causal Inference
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A classical problem in causal inference is that of matching, where treatment units need to be matched to control units. Some of the main challenges in developing matching methods arise from the tension among (i) inclusion of as many covariates as possible in defining the matched groups, (ii) having matched groups with enough treated and control units for a valid estimate of Average Treatment Effect (ATE) in each group, and (iii) computing the matched pairs efficiently for large datasets. In this paper we propose a fast and novel method for approximate and exact matching in causal analysis called FLAME (Fast Large-scale Almost Matching Exactly). We define an optimization objective for match quality, which gives preferences to matching on covariates that can be useful for predicting the outcome while encouraging as many matches as possible. FLAME aims to optimize our match quality measure, leveraging techniques that are natural for query processing in the area of database management. We provide two implementations of FLAME using SQL queries and bit-vector techniques.
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Assistant Professor of Computer Science
I joined the Department of Computer Science at Duke University in Fall 2015. Before joining Duke, I was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering,University of Washington where I worked with Prof. Dan Suciu and the database group. I graduated from the Uni
Professor of Computer Science
Cynthia Rudin is an associate professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, statistical science and mathematics at Duke University, and directs the Prediction Analysis Lab. Previously, Prof. Rudin held positions at MIT, Columbia, and NYU. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo, and a PhD in applied and computational mathematics from Princeton University. She is the recipient of the 2013 and 2016 INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award
Assistant Professor of Statistical Science
I am interested in theory and methodology for network analysis, causal inference and statistical/computational tradeoffs and in applications in the social sciences. Modern data streams frequently do not follow the traditional paradigms of n independent observations on p quantities of interest. They can include complex dependencies among the observations (e.g. interference in the study of causal effects) or among the quantities of interest (e.g. probabilities of edge formation in a network). My r
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