Coincidence Analysis

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Coincidence Analysis (CNA) is a configurational comparative method of causal inference and data analysis grouping causes into bundles that are jointly effective and placing them on alternative causal routes to their effects. The method is custom-built for uncovering multi-outcome structures, even when they produce no or only weak pairwise dependencies between endogenous and exogenous factors. This page collects relevant information on CNA and on the corresponding research projects at the University of Bergen.

Coincidence Analysis (CNA) is a configurational comparative method of causal data analysis that was first introduced in (Baumgartner 2009a2009b), substantively re-worked and generalized in (Baumgartner and Ambühl 2020), and implemented in the software libraries cna, frscore, and cnaOpt for the R environment for statistical computing. In recent years, CNA was applied in numerous studies in public health as well as in the social, political, and behavioral sciences (e.g. Dy et al. 2022,  Knott et al. 2022, Miech et al. 2021, Swiatczak 2021, Whitaker et al. 2020, Yakovchenko et al. 2020, Haesebrouck 2019; more applications are collected here). 

While most standard methods of causal data analysis require that causation manifests as some non-zero pairwise dependence between causes and effects in the data, CNA belongs to a family of methods--comprising Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA; e.g. Ragin 2008) or Logic Regression (LR; e.g. Ruczinski et al. 2003), among others--that are capable of analyzing structures in which causes and effects are pairwise independent. While standard methods primarily quantify effect sizes, CNA groups causal influence factors conjunctively (i.e. in complex bundles) and disjunctively (i.e. on alternative pathways). CNA is firmly rooted in the so-called INUS theory of causation (see Mackie 1974, Baumgartner and Falk 2019) and it is the only method of its kind that can process data generated by causal structures with multiple outcomes (effects), for example, causal chains.

CNA is currently being developed further in two prominent research projects at the University of Bergen. The first is co-funded by the University of Bergen and the Trond Mohn Foundation in the context of the Toppforsk-programme; the second is funded by the Research Council of Norway in the context of the FRIPRO scheme. From May 15 to 20, 2023, the CNA23 training and the second international CNA conference were held at the Prague University of Economics and Business, Czech Republic. Next year's training will be held from May 20-23, 2024, at RUSH University in Chicago.

This website collects relevant information on CNA and on the corresponding research projects.

genetics in medicine

CNA applied in Genetics in Medicine

Dean, M, Tezak, A, Johnson, S, ... Cragun, D. used CNA to identify factors differentiating cancer risk management decisions among females with pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in PALB2, CHEK2, and ATM.


Update 3.5.4 of the cna R package released on CRAN

Mathias Ambühl and Michael Baumgartner released a new update of the cna R package on CRAN. The latest version is 3.5.4.


CNA applied in General Internal Medicine

Jessica Dodge et al. (2023) conducted a Coincidence Analysis investigating various factors influencing timely implementation of research findings into clinical practice in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).


Template application of the frscore routine

Tim Haesebrouck applied the frscore routine in an exemplary manner to examine the conditions under which populist radical right parties support military deployment decisions in national parliaments: Haesebrouck T. (2023), The populist radical right and military intervention: A coincidence analysis...


Version 0.3.1 of `frscore` is released

A new version of the `frscore` extension package for `cna` is now available on CRAN.

Save the date: The next CNA training intensive will be held from May 20-23, 2024, at RUSH University in Chicago.