Tracing paths allows you to view full causal pathways and to analyse the relationships between specific causal factors. You will find the
trace paths filter in the
analysis filters section. This will open the
trace paths panel which asks you to select how many steps to trace and which factors to trace from and to. Type one or more factors to begin your path (these are the
origin factors) and which factor or factors you want the path to end at (the
target factors). If necessary, move the slider to select how many steps down you want the path to go.
If you want you can also leave either (but not both) factor selectors blank, e.g.
- to search from some specific factor or factors to “anywhere”, or
- to search from “anywhere” to some specific factor or factors.
If you want to search from or to the main drivers and/or outcomes:
- put “main_drivers” in the first box
- and/or put “main_outcomes” in the second box.
“main_drivers” uses an algorithm which identifies 1-3 factors with the highest
driver_score , i.e. and likewise for outcomes.
Once you click
apply filter your map will appear, as below. Orange indicates the origin(s) of the path, purple the target factor(s) and green any factors in between.
In this example, there are causal paths from the two external factors to the two outcomes. In real-life examples, these paths may be much harder to follow, so their are best seen and shown by using path tracing, as it simplifies the map and highlights the intervening factors between the two factors.
A path length of 1 will only show the one step in the causal chain from/to your chosen factor, i.e. A ➜ B. A path length of 2 will also show the next step in the causal chain (if there is one!), i.e. A ➜ B ➜ C.