From the Back Cover

  • Establishes causal inference methodology that incorporates the benefits of machine learning with statistical inference
  • Presentation combines accessibility with the method’s rigorous grounding in statistical theory
  • Demonstrates targeted learning in epidemiological, medical, and genomic experimental and observational studies that include informative dropout, missingness, time-dependent confounding, and case-control sampling

The statistics profession is at a unique point in history. The need for valid statistical tools is greater than ever; data sets are massive, often measuring hundreds of thousands of measurements for a single subject. The field is ready to move towards clear objective benchmarks under which tools can be evaluated. Targeted learning allows (1) the full generalization and utilization of cross-validation as an estimator selection tool so that the subjective choices made by humans are now made by the machine, and (2) targeting the fitting of the probability distribution of the data toward the target parameter representing the scientific question of interest.

This book is aimed at both statisticians and applied researchers interested in causal inference and general effect estimation for observational and experimental data. Part I is an accessible introduction to super learning and the targeted maximum likelihood estimator, including related concepts necessary to understand and apply these methods. Parts II-IX handle complex data structures and topics applied researchers will immediately recognize from their own research, including time-to-event outcomes, direct and indirect effects, positivity violations, case-control studies, censored data, longitudinal data, and genomic studies.


Download the Complete Front Matter for Targeted Learning.
The front matter includes a foreword by Judea Pearl, foreword by Ira B. Tager, detailed preface, table of contents, list of contributors, notation, and an introductory chapter written by Richard Starmans titled “Models, Inference, and Truth: Probabilistic Reasoning in the Information Era.”