policy_tree: Fit a policy with exact tree search

Description Usage Arguments Details Value References Examples

View source: R/policy_tree.R

Description

Finds the optimal (maximizing the sum of rewards) depth k tree by exhaustive search. If the optimal action is the same in both the left and right leaf of a node, the node is pruned.

Usage

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policy_tree(X, Gamma, depth = 2, split.step = 1, min.node.size = 1)

Arguments

X

The covariates used. Dimension N*p where p is the number of features.

Gamma

The rewards for each action. Dimension N*d where d is the number of actions.

depth

The depth of the fitted tree. Default is 2.

split.step

An optional approximation parameter, the number of possible splits to consider when performing tree search. split.step = 1 (default) considers every possible split, split.step = 10 considers splitting at every 10'th sample and may yield a substantial speedup for dense features. Manually rounding or re-encoding continuous covariates with very high cardinality in a problem specific manner allows for finer-grained control of the accuracy/runtime tradeoff and may in some cases be the preferred approach.

min.node.size

An integer indicating the smallest terminal node size permitted. Default is 1.

Details

Exact tree search is intended as a way to find shallow (i.e. depth 2 or 3) globally optimal tree-based polices on datasets of "moderate" size. The amortized runtime of exact tree search is O(p^k n^k (log n + d) + pnlog n) where p is the number of features, n the number of distinct observations, d the number of treatments, and k >= 1 the tree depth. Due to the exponents in this expression, exact tree search will not scale to datasets of arbitrary size.

As an example, the runtime of a depth two tree scales quadratically with the number of observations, implying that doubling the number of samples will quadruple the runtime. n refers to the number of distinct observations, substantial speedups can be gained when the features are discrete (with all binary features, the runtime will be ~ linear in n), and it is therefore beneficial to round down/re-encode very dense data to a lower cardinality (the optional parameter split.step emulates this, though rounding/re-encoding allow for finer-grained control).

Value

A policy_tree object.

References

Athey, Susan, and Stefan Wager. "Policy Learning With Observational Data." Econometrica 89.1 (2021): 133-161.

Sverdrup, Erik, Ayush Kanodia, Zhengyuan Zhou, Susan Athey, and Stefan Wager. "policytree: Policy learning via doubly robust empirical welfare maximization over trees." Journal of Open Source Software 5, no. 50 (2020): 2232.

Zhou, Zhengyuan, Susan Athey, and Stefan Wager. "Offline multi-action policy learning: Generalization and optimization." arXiv preprint arXiv:1810.04778 (2018).

Examples

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# Fit a depth two tree on doubly robust treatment effect estimates from a causal forest.
n <- 10000
p <- 10
# Rounding down continuous covariates decreases runtime.
X <- round(matrix(rnorm(n * p), n, p), 2)
colnames(X) <- make.names(1:p)
W <- rbinom(n, 1, 1 / (1 + exp(X[, 3])))
tau <- 1 / (1 + exp((X[, 1] + X[, 2]) / 2)) - 0.5
Y <- X[, 3] + W * tau + rnorm(n)
c.forest <- grf::causal_forest(X, Y, W)
dr.scores <- double_robust_scores(c.forest)

tree <- policy_tree(X, dr.scores, 2)
tree

# Predict treatment assignment.
predicted <- predict(tree, X)

plot(X[, 1], X[, 2], col = predicted)
legend("topright", c("control", "treat"), col = c(1, 2), pch = 19)
abline(0, -1, lty = 2)

# Predict the leaf assigned to each sample.
node.id <- predict(tree, X, type = "node.id")
# Can be reshaped to a list of samples per leaf node with `split`.
samples.per.leaf <- split(1:n, node.id)

# The value of all arms (along with SEs) by each leaf node.
values <- aggregate(dr.scores, by = list(leaf.node = node.id),
                    FUN = function(x) c(mean = mean(x), se = sd(x) / sqrt(length(x))))
print(values, digits = 2)

# Take cost of treatment into account by offsetting the objective
# with an estimate of the average treatment effect.
# See section 5.1 in Athey and Wager (2021) for more details, including
# suggestions on using cross-validation to assess the accuracy of the learned policy.
ate <- grf::average_treatment_effect(c.forest)
cost.offset <- ate[["estimate"]]
tree.cost <- policy_tree(X, dr.scores - cost.offset, 2)

# If there are too many covariates to make tree search computationally feasible,
# one can consider for example only the top 5 features according to GRF's variable importance.
var.imp <- grf::variable_importance(c.forest)
top.5 <- order(var.imp, decreasing = TRUE)[1:5]
tree.top5 <- policy_tree(X[, top.5], dr.scores, 2, split.step = 50)

policytree documentation built on July 7, 2021, 9:06 a.m.