Treatment Effect Estimation using Invariant Risk Minimization

Abhin Shah, Kartik Ahuja, Karthikeyan Shanmugam, Dennis Wei, Kush Varshney, Amit Dhurandhar

Inferring causal individual treatment effect (ITE) from observational data is a challenging problem whose difficulty is exacerbated by the presence of treatment assignment bias. In this work, we propose a new way to estimate the ITE using the domain generalization framework of invariant risk minimization (IRM). IRM uses data from multiple domains, learns predictors that do not exploit spurious domain-dependent factors, and generalizes better to unseen domains. We propose an IRM-based ITE estimator aimed at tackling treatment assignment bias when there is little support overlap between the control group and the treatment group. We accomplish this by creating diversity: given a single dataset, we split the data into multiple domains artificially. These diverse domains are then exploited by IRM to more effectively generalize regression-based models to data regions that lack support overlap. We show gains over classical regression approaches to ITE estimation in settings when support mismatch is more pronounced.

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