Much research in computational argumentation assumes that arguments and counterarguments can be obtained in some way. Yet, to improve and apply models of argument, we need methods for acquiring them. Current approaches include argument mining from text, hand coding of arguments by researchers, or generating arguments from knowledge bases. In this paper, we propose a new approach, which we call argument harvesting, that uses a chatbot to enter into a dialogue with a participant to get arguments and counterarguments from him or her. Because it is automated, the chatbot can be used repeatedly in many dialogues, and thereby it can generate a large corpus. We describe the architecture of the chatbot, provide methods for managing a corpus of arguments and counterarguments, and an evaluation of our approach in a case study concerning attitudes of women to participation in sport.
Kokciyan, Nadin (King's College London) | Sassoon, Isabel (King's College London) | Young, Anthony P. (King's College London) | Chapman, Martin (King's College London) | Porat, Talya (King's College London) | Ashworth, Mark (King's College London) | Curcin, Vasa (King's College London) | Modgil, Sanjay (King's College London) | Parsons, Simon (King's College London) | Sklar, Elizabeth (King's College London)
CONSULT is a decision-support framework designed to help patients self-manage chronic conditions and adhere to agreed-upon treatment plans, in collaboration with healthcare professionals. The approach taken employs computational argumentation, a logic-based methodology that provides a formal means for reasoning with evidence by substantiating claims for and against particular conclusions. This paper outlines the architecture of CONSULT, illustrating how facts are gathered about the patient and various preferences of the patient and the clinician(s) involved. A logic-based representation of official treatment guidelines by various public health agencies is presented. Logical arguments are constructed from these facts and guidelines; these arguments are analysed to resolve inconsistencies concerning various treatment options and patient/clinician preferences. The claims of the justified arguments are the decisions recommended by CONSULT. A clinical example is presented which illustrates the use of CONSULT within the context of blood pressure management for secondary stroke prevention.
This paper addresses the challenge of modeling human reasoning, within a new framework called Cognitive Argumentation. This framework rests on the assumption that human logical reasoning is inherently a process of dialectic argumentation and aims to develop a cognitive model for human reasoning that is computational and implementable. To give logical reasoning a human cognitive form the framework relies on cognitive principles, based on empirical and theoretical work in Cognitive Science, to suitably adapt a general and abstract framework of computational argumentation from AI. The approach of Cognitive Argumentation is evaluated with respect to Byrne's suppression task, where the aim is not only to capture the suppression effect between different groups of people but also to account for the variation of reasoning within each group. Two main cognitive principles are particularly important to capture human conditional reasoning that explain the participants' responses: (i) the interpretation of a condition within a conditional as sufficient and/or necessary and (ii) the mode of reasoning either as predictive or explanatory. We argue that Cognitive Argumentation provides a coherent and cognitively adequate model for human conditional reasoning that allows a natural distinction between definite and plausible conclusions, exhibiting the important characteristics of context-sensitive and defeasible reasoning.
Conversational agents, also known as chatbots, are versatile tools that have the potential of being used in dialogical argumentation. They could possibly be deployed in tasks such as persuasion for behaviour change (e.g. persuading people to eat more fruit, to take regular exercise, etc.) However, to achieve this, there is a need to develop methods for acquiring appropriate arguments and counterargument that reflect both sides of the discussion. For instance, to persuade someone to do regular exercise, the chatbot needs to know counterarguments that the user might have for not doing exercise. To address this need, we present methods for acquiring arguments and counterarguments, and importantly, meta-level information that can be useful for deciding when arguments can be used during an argumentation dialogue. We evaluate these methods in studies with participants and show how harnessing these methods in a chatbot can make it more persuasive.
This paper discusses a process of argumentation. We propose an algorithm for dynamic treatment of argumentation in which all lines of argumentation are executed in succession, and the agent's knowledge base can change during argumentation. We show that there exists a case in which an agent dynamically loses argumentation that would be considered won by a static analysis. We also show that the algorithm terminates, and describe acceptable arguments that are obtained after the argumentation.