Many congratulations to Mark Snaith who this morning successfully defended his PhD thesis. He was examined by Prof. Guillermo Simari (Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina) and Dr. Keith Edwards (Dundee). Mark is staying on in the group as a postdoctoral research assistant.
We are delighted to be hosting a visit from David Price of debategraph. David will be with the group all day on 18 January, including giving a School seminar in Wolfson on his experiences with debategraph in different application contexts.
We are delighted to be hosting a visit from Martin Caminada who has recently joined the University of Aberdeen. He will be here on 12 December to deliver a seminar in Wolfson entitled,
Argumentation as Inference versus Argumentation as Dialogue — reconciling two lines of research
Abstract: In the formal argumentation community, one can distinguish two main lines of research: argumentation as inference and argumentation as dialogue. The first line of research, going back to the work of Pollock, Vreeswijk and Simari & Loui, is focused in argumentation as a way of performing non-monotonic entailment. That is, it is focused on the *outcome* of argumentation. The second line of research, going back to the work of Hamblin, Mackenzie and Walton & Krabbe, is focused on argumentation as dialectics, involving various actors. That is, it is focused on the *process* of argumentation.
In our recent work, we aim to reconcile these two lines of research.
That is, we aim to express argument-based entailment as the ability to
win a discussion. In particular, we are able to show that:
(1) grounded semantics can be interpreted in terms of a persuasion dialogue
(2) (credulous) preferred semantics can be interpreted in terms of Socratic dialogue
(3) ideal and stable semantics can both be interpreted as specific sub-forms of Socratic dialogue
Apart from abstract argumentation, we also examine the possibilities of redefining ASPIC-style entailment in terms of structured dialogue. In general, we think that argument-based inference is not so much about what is true, but about what can be defended in rational discussion.
We are delighted to host a visit from Ashwag Maghraby from the University of Edinburgh who will be visiting us Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 and will be delivering a seminar in Wolfson on,
Bridging the Specification Protocol Gap in Argumentation
Abstract. Today, argumentation is gaining greater visibility since it is being used as part of the high-level specification of multi-agent systems (MAS). However, as we build complete MAS that involve argumentation, there is a need to produce concrete implementations in which these abstract specifications are realised via protocols coordinating agent behaviour. This creates a gap between standard argument specification and deployment of protocols. This research attempts to close this gap by using a combination of automated synthesis and verification methods. More precisely, this research proposes a means to moving rapidly from argument specification to protocol implementation, using the Argument Interchange Format (AIF is a generic specification language for argument structure) as the specification language and the Lightweight Coordination Calculus (LCC is an executable specification language used for coordinating agents in open systems) as an implementation language. The resulting system provides engineers with a means of moving rapidly from argument specification to implementation. In this presentation, I will start with a brief introduction about MAS as well argumentation. Then I will explain, by using an example, how the chosen automated synthesis and verification methods were used to close the gap between standard argument specification and deployment of protocols.
Last night the ARG:dundee team conducted close argument analysis on a live 45 minute broadcast of an episode of the BBC Radio 4 programme, The Moral Maze, using our Argument AnalysisWall.
We aimed to make debates available on the Argument Web for allthedifferentcompatibleonline tools to access. Specifically, we wanted to analyse broadcast debate and support online interaction with those arguments. Live. To do it, we needed lots of analysts working together, using a large touch screen running bespoke software to collaboratively analyse the discourse. Stenographic transcription, argument segmentation and enthymeme reconstruction are all carried out by other team members. There are more details and a short video of the result is available and an unedited single-camera view of the full 45 minutes is also available. A more interesting, multi-camera version of the full analysis is also available.
The IMPACT Argumentation Toolbox for Policy Deliberations
Abstract. IMPACT is a European Framework 7 research and development project on the theme of information and communications technology for governance and policy modeling. IMPACT is conducting original research to develop and integrate formal, computational models of policy and arguments about policy, to facilitate deliberations about policy at a conceptual, language-independent level. These models will be used to develop and evaluate a prototype of an innovative argumentation toolbox for supporting open, inclusive and transparent deliberations about public policy on the World-Wide-Web. Four integrated web applications are being developed for the IMPACT toolbox: 1. Argument Reconstruction Tool; 2. Structured Consultation Tool; 3. Policy Modelling Tool; and 4. Argument Visualisation and Tracking Tool. All four tools are based on the same underlying computational model of argument and exchange arguments using the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format (LKIF), an XML format for argumentation schemes and arguments inspired in part by the Argument Interchange Format (AIF) developed partly at the University of Dundee’s School of Computing.
With so many people in this geographical region working on computational models of argument, Nir Oren finally took the initiative to do what so many of us had been threatening to do: namely, to run a workshop meeting. So, the first meeting of what we hope will be an enthusiastic schedule of collaboration is being held today, and the whole ARG:dundee group is heading up to Aberdeen. If you’re interested in tracking it and finding out more, drop us an email, or join the LinkedIn group.