Extracting Scenarios from a Bayesian Network as Explanations for Legal Evidence

Charlotte S. Vlek, Henry Prakken, Silja Renooij, Bart Verheij

In order to make an informed decision in a criminal trial, conclusions about what may have happened need to be derived from the available evidence. Recently, Bayesian networks have gained popularity as a probabilistic tool for reasoning with evidence. However, in order to make sense of a conclusion drawn from a Bayesian network, a juror needs to understand the context. In this paper, we propose to extract scenarios from a Bayesian network to form the context for the results of computations in that network. We interpret the narrative concepts of scenario schemes, local coherence and global coherence in terms of probabilities. These allow us to present an algorithm that takes the most probable configuration of variables of interest, computed from the Bayesian network, and forms a coherent scenario as a context for these variables. This way, we take advantage of the calculations in a Bayesian network, as well as the global perspective of narratives.

Manuscript (in PDF-format)

Vlek, C., Prakken, H., Renooij, S., & Verheij, B. (2014). Extracting Scenarios from a Bayesian Network as Explanations for Legal Evidence. Legal Knowledge and Information Systems. JURIX 2014: The Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference (ed. Hoekstra, R.), 103-112. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

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