'MICRAC' is the acronym of « Modèles Informatiques et Cognitifs du Raisonnement Causal ». It is a 3.5 year project (December 2005 - June 2009) supported by the « Programme Blanc » of the French Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR, http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/).

The MICRAC project brings together four partners, the « Centre de Recherche en Informatique de Lens » (CRIL), the « Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse » (IRIT), the « Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris-Nord » (LIPN), and the Laboratory "Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie" of Toulouse-Le Mirail (CLLE-LTC), around the problem of the identification of causal relations in a sequence of reported events. This problem differs from other traditional questions related to the idea of causality, such as the diagnosis of observed effects, or the qualitative simulation of dynamic systems.

    The goals of the MICRAC project are to develop:
  1. formal investigations of models of causal judgment.
  2. experimental investigations of these models.
  3. studies of the problems raised by their implementation.
  4. and more generally, to contribute a comparative study of these models.

The reader interested in more details on the work done in the MICRAC project is referred to the articles produced by the partners of the project, many of them being already available on the MICRAC website https://www.irit.fr/MICRAC/

About the Workshop

This workshop is organized at the occasion of the end of the MICRAC project. It will take place at IRIT (Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse) on June 8-10, 2009.

The program will include:

    - 4 invited talks by:
  • Dr. Jacques Dubucs, Directeur de recherches CNRS, Institut d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques, Paris
  • Dr. York Hagmayer, Georg Elias Müller Institut für Psychologie Universität Göttingen, Göttingen
  • Prof. Joseph Y. Halpern, Computer Science Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Dr. David Lagnado, Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, University College London, London

  • - presentations of the main MICRAC results by the partners.
    - solicited talks by researchers interested in causality modeling, coming from different disciplines.

An informal booklet distributed during the workshop will gather the extended abstracts (2-4 pages) of the presentations. All presentations will be in English. Reduced subscription fees may be collected for covering the expenses of the booklet proceedings, the coffee breaks, the lunches and a workshop dinner. The workshop will be open to all persons interested in attending.

The workshop is in part supported by the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Toulouse, Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail.

Scientific Program

8th june 9th june 10th june
Nicholas Ascher, Myriam Bras, Anne Le Draoulec
"Causal relations in the semantics of the French adverb "alors" "
Yorg Hagmayer
"Causal models in judgment and choice"
David Lagnado
"The use of causal networks in evidential reasoning"
John Halpern
"Cause, responsability and blame: A structured-models approach"
Salem Benferhat
"On the handling of interventions in possibilistic causal networks"
Farid Nouioua
"A norm-based approach to causal reasoning"
Tobi Gerstenberg
"Spreading the blame: The allocation of responsibility amongst multiple agents"
Camilla Schwind
"Conditional causal logics"
Sara Boutouhami
"A system for generating biased descriptions of an event"
Daniel Kayser, François Lévy
"Causality: Purposes, core notions, properties"
Jacques Dubucs
"Counterfactualist and this-worldy accounts of causality"
Rui Da Silva Neves, Henri Prade
"A comparative overview of formal models of causal ascription"
Didier Dubois
"Causal ascription based on context-dependent beliefs"
Florence Dupin de Saint-Cyr
"Scenario update applied to causal reasoning"
Caren Frosch
"Is causation probabilistic?"
Jean-François Bonnefon
"Conditions for the transitivity of causal chains"
Denis Hilton
"Planned vs unplanned outcomes:Effects on action sequencing and attributions of causality, responsibility and blame"
Stijn Meganck
"Causal discovery in non-ideal frameworks"
Marie-Odile Cordier, Yves Moinard
"Remarks about the use of Answer Set Programming for a causal formalism."
Maximilian Kistler
"The manipulationist account of causation and non-causal determination"

Extended Abstracts

Invited Speakers

  • Jacques Dubucs, Directeur de l'Institut d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques, CNRS, Université Paris 1, France, EU
  • "Counterfactualist and this-worldy accounts of causality"

  • York Hagmayer, Georg Elias Müller Institut für Psychologie Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, EU
  • "Causal Models in Judgment and Choice"

  • Joe Halpern, Cornell University, Computer Science Department, Ithaca, NY, USA.
  • "Cause, responsability and blame: A structured-models approach"

  • David Lagnado Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, Unviversity College London, London, Great-Britain, EU
  • "The use of causal networks in evidential reasoning"
    In everyday life, as well as more specialized contexts such as legal or medical decision making, people must make judgments based on complex bodies of interrelated evidence. What psychological processes do they use, and how do these relate to formal methods of evidence evaluation? One key factor seems to be people's ability to organize information into causal networks. This talk discusses two empirical studies that support this claim. Study 1 investigates the subtleties of alibi evidence, and suggests that people draw inferences based on network representations of the evidence. Study 2 looks at the selection of new information, and shows that people are sensitive to the differential diagnosticity of evidence within a causal network.


- Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT), Université Paul Sabatier - Coordinateur -
BONNEFON Jean-François

- Dynamiques Socio-Cognitives et Vie Politique (DSVP), Université de Toulouse Le Mirail

- Centre de Recherche en Informatique de Lens (CRIL), CNRS - Délégation Nord-Pas-de-Calais et Picardie
LAGRUE Sylvain
VIDAL Vincent

- Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris-Nord (LIPN), Université Paris-Nord
LEVY François