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Algorithms for computational argumentation in artificial intelligence

Efstathiou, V.; (2011) Algorithms for computational argumentation in artificial intelligence. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Argumentation is a vital aspect of intelligent behaviour by humans. It provides the means for comparing information by analysing pros and cons when trying to make a decision. Formalising argumentation in computational environment has become a topic of increasing interest in artificial intelligence research over the last decade. Computational argumentation involves reasoning with uncertainty by making use of logic in order to formalize the presentation of arguments and counterarguments and deal with conflicting information. A common assumption for logic-based argumentation is that an argument is a pair < Φ α > where Φ is a consistent set which is minimal for entailing a claim α. Different logics provide different definitions for consistency and entailment and hence give different options for formalising arguments and counterarguments. The expressivity of classical propositional logic allows for complicated knowledge to be represented but its computational cost is an issue. This thesis is based on monological argumentation using classical propositional logic [12] and aims in developing algorithms that are viable despite the computational cost. The proposed solution adapts well established techniques for automated theorem proving, based on resolution and connection graphs. A connection graph is a graph where each node is a clause and each arc denotes there exist complementary disjuncts between nodes. A connection graph allows for a substantially reduced search space to be used when seeking all the arguments for a claim from a given knowledgebase. In addition, its structure provides information on how its nodes can be linked with each other by resolution, providing this way the basis for applying algorithms which search for arguments by traversing the graph. The correctness of this approach is supported by theoretical results, while experimental evaluation demonstrates the viability of the algorithms developed. In addition, an extension of the theoretical work for propositional logic to first-order logic is introduced.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Algorithms for computational argumentation in artificial intelligence
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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