The Uses of Computational Argumentation: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium
Trevor Bench-Capon, Simon Parsons, and Henry Prakken, Cochairs
Argumentation is a form of reasoning in which explicit attention is paid to the reasons for the conclusions that are drawn and how conflicts between reasons are resolved. Explicit consideration of the support for conclusions provides a mechanism, for example, to handle inconsistent and uncertain information. Argumentation has been studied both at the logical level, as a way of modelling defeasible inference, and at the dialogical level, as a form of agent interaction. Argumentation has long been studied in disciplines such as philosophy, and one can find approaches in computer science from the 1970s onwards that clearly owe something to the notion of an argument. Work on computational argumentation, where arguments are explicitly constructed and compared as a means of solving problems on a computer, first started appearing in the second half of the 1980s, and argumentation is now well established as an important sub-field within artificial intelligence.
There is now a good understanding of the basic requirements of argumentation systems, and there are several theoretical models that have been widely studied by researchers. There are one or two robust implementations, and the first software systems built around argumentation are beginning to appear. This, therefore, is an appropriate time to consider what these models and implementations might be used for. This symposium provided a forum for wide-ranging discussion of the possible applications of techniques from computational argumentation. It gave special focus to strongly innovative ideas, ideas that could engage current researchers in the area and could inspire others to become researchers in the area.