I sent off my revised abstract to ECA Lisbon 2015, the European Conference on Argumentation. Evidence informatics, in 75 words:
Reasoning and decision-making are common throughout human activity. Increasingly, human reasoning is mediated by information technology, either to support collective action at a distance, or to support individual decision-making and sense-making.
We will describe the nascent field of “evidence informatics”, which considers how to structure reasoning and evidence. Comparing and contrasting evidence support tools in different disciplines will help determine reusable underlying principles, shared between fields such as legal informatics, evidence-based policy, and cognitive ergonomics.
Tags: argumentation, decision-making, evidence, evidence informatics, informatics, reasoning, sense-making
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A great image “Four types of evidence” appears in a recent paper on probabalistic argumentation schemes. The delineation of 4 types of evidence serves the larger goal of the paper — which is to describe how to combine evidence of different types.
- Four Types of Evidence, from Tang et al. ArgMAS2013
The four types of evidence depicted are:
- Consonant Evidence – each set is wholly contained in another (all sets can be arranged in a nested series of subsets)
- Consistent Evidence – have a common element (nonempty intersection of all sets)
- Disjoint Evidence – in which there is no overlap (pairwise disjoint intersection of sets)
- Arbitrary Evidence – where none of the three preceding situations holds (i.e. there is no consensus but some agreement)
Tags: argumentation, argumentation schemes, Dempster-Shafer theory, evidence, online argumentation, sensor fusion
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Argumentation analysis can be simplified by thinking about the patterns used.
But what are the key patterns? Here are two diagrams showing different views.
Rahwan suggests 5 common basic argument structures: single, linked, convergent, serial, and divergent.
Iyad Rahwan. Mass argumentation and the Semantic Web. 2008.
Meanwhile, Wei and Praken give 5 possible argumentative structures that have one or two inferences.
From Bin Wei and Henry Prakken. Defining the structure of arguments with AI models of argumentation.
Why 5 structures? Five connected structures emerge from having two types of inference — as unit I (single) and unit II (linked) inference. With two inferences of either type, we can make five patterns:
(1) unit I argument (single)
(2) unit II argument (linked)
(3) multiple unit I argument (serial)
(4) multiple unit II argument
(5) mixed argument
What is interesting is to look at the differences: Rahwen doesn’t cover (4) multiple unit II and (5) mixed arguments. Meanwhile, Wei and Prakken’s list doesn’t include Rahwen’s convergent & divergent argumentation.
So which are the key patterns?
Single and linked arguments are fundamental, and serial arguments are mathematically simple and Rahwen suggests that they are common in use.But the rest?
Convergent & divergent argumentation structures are both candidates: Wei and Prakken don’t cover these, I suspect, since each could be separated into two separate single arguments, which have the same premise (divergent) or conclusion (convergent). These structures can be important in practice: Convergent arguments give multiple reasons for coming to a conclusion — essential when no single reason suffices. The structure of divergent arguments seems to me to be most useful for showing contradictions in diverse conclusions, e.g. for reductio ad absurdum arguments; I’d love a real-world example of a divergent argument where keeping this structure is important.
Tags: argumentation, argumentation patterns, argumentation structure, convergent arguments, divergent arguments, linked arguments, serial arguments
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Language evolves, and we use words loosely. But I’m more and more disturbed with the way “Like” is being manhandled.
Argumentation will need to encompass polarity; so I hope that it can help.
Tags: argumentation, argumentation ontologies, Facebook, like, semantics
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