Conditional Independence

The concept of conditional independence plays an important role in medical decision making. Conditional independence itself concerns whether information about one variable provides incremental information about another variable. The concept is also important in articulating assumptions needed to reason about causality.

Independence and Conditional Independence

The concepts of independence and conditional independence concern whether information about one variable also contains information about another variable. Two variables are said to be independent if information about one gives no information about the other. For example, one might expect that whether an individual is left-handed or right-handed gives no information about the likelihood of developing pneumonia; it would then be said that being left-handed or right-handed is independent of the development of pneumonia. More formally, if P(Y = y|Z = ...

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