The Relevance of Trees

Glenn Shafer

In my contribution to this workshop, I would like to discuss concepts of relevance that emerge from thinking of trees as basic to probability. Some of these concepts are developed in a monograph entitled The Art of Causal Conjecture, which I am finishing this summer and which will be published by MIT Press in their AI series, but I hope to go beyond the monograph in dealing the concept of relevance. The basic insight I hope to convey is that statements about relevance can often be interpreted as precise statements about the structure of probability trees.

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