Causal Independence for Knowledge Acquisition and Inference

I introduce a temporal belief-network representation of causal independence that a knowledge engineer can use to elicit probabilistic models. Like the current atemporal belief-network representation of causal independence, the new representation makes knowledge acquisition tractable. Unlike the atemporal representation, however, the temporal representation can simplify inference, and does not require the use of unobservable variables. The representation is less general than is the atemporal representation, but appears to be useful for many practical applications.