Artificial argument assistants for defeasible argumentation

Bart Verheij


The present paper discusses experimental argument assistance tools. In contrast with automated reasoning tools, the objective is not to replace reasoning, but to guide the user's production of arguments. Two systems are presented, Argue! and ArguMed based on DefLog. The focus is on defeasible argumentation with an eye on the law. Argument assistants for defeasible argumentation naturally correspond to a view of the application of law as dialectical theory construction. The experiments provide insights into the design of argument assistants, and show the pros and cons of different ways of representing argumentative data. The development of the argumentation theories underlying the systems has culminated in the logical system DefLog that formalizes the interpretation of prima facie justified assumptions. DefLog introduces an innovative use of conditionals expressing support and attack. This allows the expression of warrants for support and attack, making it a transparent and flexible system of defeasible argumentation.

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The software

Verheij, Bart (2003). Artificial argument assistants for defeasible argumentation. Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 150, No. 1-2, pp. 291-324.
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