Skip to main content
Targeted Learning: Causal Inference for Observational and Experimental Data
  • Mark J. van der Laan
  • Sherri Rose
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 toward 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 including time-dependent confounding, and genomic studies. See
  • targeted learning,
  • machine learning,
  • causal inference,
  • TMLE,
  • observational data,
  • experimental data
Publication Date
Series in Statistics
Citation Information
Mark J. van der Laan and Sherri Rose. Targeted Learning: Causal Inference for Observational and Experimental Data. New York(2011)
Available at: