Interactions of information transfer along separable causal paths

Peishi Jiang, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Complex systems arise as a result of interdependences between multiple variables, whose causal interactions can be visualized in a time-series graph. Transfer entropy and information partitioning approaches have been used to characterize such dependences. However, these approaches capture net information transfer occurring through a multitude of pathways involved in the interaction and as a result mask our ability to discern the causal interaction within a subgraph of interest through specific pathways. We build on recent developments of momentary information transfer along causal paths proposed by Runge [Phys. Rev. E 92, 062829 (2015)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.92.062829] to develop a framework for quantifying information partitioning along separable causal paths. Momentary information transfer along causal paths captures the amount of information transfer between any two variables lagged at two specific points in time. Our approach expands this concept to characterize the causal interaction in terms of synergistic, unique, and redundant information transfer through separable causal paths. Through a graphical model, we analyze the impact of the separable and nonseparable causal paths and the causality structure embedded in the graph as well as the noise effect on information partitioning by using synthetic data generated from two coupled logistic equation models. Our approach can provide a valuable reference for an autonomous information partitioning along separable causal paths which form a causal subgraph influencing a target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042310
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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