Space-time nature of causality

Ezequiel Bianco-Martinez, Murilo S Baptista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


In a causal world the direction of the time arrow dictates how past causal events in a variable X produce future effects in Y. X is said to cause an effect in Y, if the predictability (uncertainty) about the future states of Y increases (decreases) as its own past and the past of X are taken into consideration. Causality is thus intrinsic dependent on the observation of the past events of both variables involved, to the prediction (or uncertainty reduction) of future event of the other variable. We will show that this temporal notion of causality leads to another natural spatiotemporal definition for it, and that can be exploited to detect the arrow of influence from X to Y, either by considering shorter time-series of X and longer time-series of Y (an approach that explores the time nature of causality) or lower precision measured time-series in X and higher precision measured time-series in Y (an approach that explores the spatial nature of causality). Causality has thus space and time signatures, causing a break of symmetry in the topology of the probabilistic space, or causing a break of symmetry in the length of the measured time-series, a consequence of the fact that information flows from X to Y.
Original languageEnglish
Article number075509
Issue number7
Early online date16 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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