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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Mar;83(3 Pt 2):036207. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Reducing the bias of causality measures.

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Department of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece.


Measures of the direction and strength of the interdependence between two time series are evaluated and modified to reduce the bias in the estimation of the measures, so that they give zero values when there is no causal effect. For this, point shuffling is employed as used in the frame of surrogate data. This correction is not specific to a particular measure and it is implemented here on measures based on state space reconstruction and information measures. The performance of the causality measures and their modifications is evaluated on simulated uncoupled and coupled dynamical systems and for different settings of embedding dimension, time series length, and noise level. The corrected measures, and particularly the suggested corrected transfer entropy, turn out to stabilize at the zero level in the absence of a causal effect and detect correctly the direction of information flow when it is present. The measures are also evaluated on electroencephalograms (EEG) for the detection of the information flow in the brain of an epileptic patient. The performance of the measures on EEG is interpreted in view of the results from the simulation study.


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