EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G060347/1
Title: Dialectical Argumentation Machines
Principal Investigator: Reed, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Computing
Organisation: University of Dundee
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 30 March 2013 Value (£): 561,059
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Mar 2009 ICT Prioritisation Panel (March 09) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Humans use argument to express disagreement, to reach consensus and to both formulate and convey reasoning. The theory of argument has found wide application in artificial intelligence, providing mathematical structures for automated reasoning, communication protocols for distributed processing and linguistic models for natural language processing. A key stumbling block, however, has been joining together models that focus on abstract, mathematical relationships with those that focus on concrete, linguistic relationships. The first objective of this project is to develop for the first time a theoretical account that connects static, monologic argumentwith dynamic, multi-person, dialogic argument and ties together abstract, mathematical models with concrete, linguistic representations.Furthermore,models of argument have been predominantly confined to the lab. Our goal is to translate the research advances into high profile, large scale deployments using partners with enormous user bases. Prototype systems in this area have been sufficient to demonstrate the unique advantages of practical argumentation systems to potential users of this research such as those within the broadcasting domain. There is a demonstrated public demand for argument-based exploration of current issues with complex scientific and ethical dimensions, demonstrated, for example, by the longevity and success of high profile programming featuring topical issues discussed in a stylised argumentative debate format. The second objective of this project is to develop the theory into implemented components that can form a foundation for application development to support actual programmes with prototype testing Unique advantages afforded by the technology will allow users to interact with the programme material as if they were themselves contributors, allowing arguments to be probed, tested and extended, and the distinction between in-programme and post-programme content to be blurred. The interaction metaphor shifts from 'message-then-next-message' to 'question-answer-riposte-challenge...'.The rich structure is natural for users, and provides rich metadata for programme-makers. Finally, in 2007 an exciting vision of the world-wide argumentation web (WWAW) was laid out, in which systems such as those constructed to work alongside practical prototypes could interact, both with each other and with other debate and argumentation systems, both populist and academic.Argument fragments, expressed as resources on the Semantic Web, can cross-refer, allowing different debating systems to navigate the WWAW according to various rules of dialogue captured by dialectical games. To bring this vision of the WWAW into reality, the third and final objective of the project is to allow execution of arbitrary dialogue games on a platform that provides interfaces for human players, and both interfaces and control for computer players of dialogue games. In this way, we want to harness the enormous channel to market and the high-profile reference case that is offered by collaboration within broadcasting. At the same time, the project will be developing platform technology that can support exploitation in other areas. During the project, we will work with the Scottish Mediation Network in the context of mediation tools, with the Ontario courts in the context of judicial summaries, and with the Universities of Lugano and Groningen in the context of legal education to identify exploitation routes for the technology.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL: http://www.arg.dundee.ac.uk
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk