Models, code, and papers for "Anthony Hunter":

Non-monotonic Reasoning in Deductive Argumentation

Sep 04, 2018
Anthony Hunter

Argumentation is a non-monotonic process. This reflects the fact that argumentation involves uncertain information, and so new information can cause a change in the conclusions drawn. However, the base logic does not need to be non-monotonic. Indeed, most proposals for structured argumentation use a monotonic base logic (e.g. some form of modus ponens with a rule-based language, or classical logic). Nonetheless, there are issues in capturing defeasible reasoning in argumentation including choice of base logic and modelling of defeasible knowledge. And there are insights and tools to be harnessed for research in non-monontonic logics. We consider some of these issues in this paper.

* 24 pages 

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Measuring Inconsistency in Argument Graphs

Aug 09, 2017
Anthony Hunter

There have been a number of developments in measuring inconsistency in logic-based representations of knowledge. In contrast, the development of inconsistency measures for computational models of argument has been limited. To address this shortcoming, this paper provides a general framework for measuring inconsistency in abstract argumentation, together with some proposals for specific measures, and a consideration of measuring inconsistency in logic-based instantiations of argument graphs, including a review of some existing proposals and a consideration of how existing logic-based measures of inconsistency can be applied.

* 29 pages 

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Analysis of Dialogical Argumentation via Finite State Machines

Apr 29, 2014
Anthony Hunter

Dialogical argumentation is an important cognitive activity by which agents exchange arguments and counterarguments as part of some process such as discussion, debate, persuasion and negotiation. Whilst numerous formal systems have been proposed, there is a lack of frameworks for implementing and evaluating these proposals. First-order executable logic has been proposed as a general framework for specifying and analysing dialogical argumentation. In this paper, we investigate how we can implement systems for dialogical argumentation using propositional executable logic. Our approach is to present and evaluate an algorithm that generates a finite state machine that reflects a propositional executable logic specification for a dialogical argumentation together with an initial state. We also consider how the finite state machines can be analysed, with the minimax strategy being used as an illustration of the kinds of empirical analysis that can be undertaken.

* Proceedings of the International Conference on Scalable Uncertainty Management (SUM'13), LNCS 8078, Pages 1-14, Springer, 2013 
* 10 pages 

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Empirical Evaluation of Abstract Argumentation: Supporting the Need for Bipolar and Probabilistic Approaches

Dec 08, 2017
Sylwia Polberg, Anthony Hunter

In dialogical argumentation it is often assumed that the involved parties always correctly identify the intended statements posited by each other, realize all of the associated relations, conform to the three acceptability states (accepted, rejected, undecided), adjust their views when new and correct information comes in, and that a framework handling only attack relations is sufficient to represent their opinions. Although it is natural to make these assumptions as a starting point for further research, removing them or even acknowledging that such removal should happen is more challenging for some of these concepts than for others. Probabilistic argumentation is one of the approaches that can be harnessed for more accurate user modelling. The epistemic approach allows us to represent how much a given argument is believed by a given person, offering us the possibility to express more than just three agreement states. It is equipped with a wide range of postulates, including those that do not make any restrictions concerning how initial arguments should be viewed, thus potentially being more adequate for handling beliefs of the people that have not fully disclosed their opinions in comparison to Dung's semantics. The constellation approach can be used to represent the views of different people concerning the structure of the framework we are dealing with, including cases in which not all relations are acknowledged or when they are seen differently than intended. Finally, bipolar argumentation frameworks can be used to express both positive and negative relations between arguments. In this paper we describe the results of an experiment in which participants judged dialogues in terms of agreement and structure. We compare our findings with the aforementioned assumptions as well as with the constellation and epistemic approaches to probabilistic argumentation and bipolar argumentation.


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Encoding monotonic multi-set preferences using CI-nets: preliminary report

Nov 09, 2016
Martin Diller, Anthony Hunter

CP-nets and their variants constitute one of the main AI approaches for specifying and reasoning about preferences. CI-nets, in particular, are a CP-inspired formalism for representing ordinal preferences over sets of goods, which are typically required to be monotonic. Considering also that goods often come in multi-sets rather than sets, a natural question is whether CI-nets can be used more or less directly to encode preferences over multi-sets. We here provide some initial ideas on how to achieve this, in the sense that at least a restricted form of reasoning on our framework, which we call "confined reasoning", can be efficiently reduced to reasoning on CI-nets. Our framework nevertheless allows for encoding preferences over multi-sets with unbounded multiplicities. We also show the extent to which it can be used to represent preferences where multiplicites of the goods are not stated explicitly ("purely qualitative preferences") as well as a potential use of our generalization of CI-nets as a component of a recent system for evidence aggregation.


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Probabilistic Argumentation with Epistemic Extensions and Incomplete Information

May 14, 2014
Anthony Hunter, Matthias Thimm

Abstract argumentation offers an appealing way of representing and evaluating arguments and counterarguments. This approach can be enhanced by a probability assignment to each argument. There are various interpretations that can be ascribed to this assignment. In this paper, we regard the assignment as denoting the belief that an agent has that an argument is justifiable, i.e., that both the premises of the argument and the derivation of the claim of the argument from its premises are valid. This leads to the notion of an epistemic extension which is the subset of the arguments in the graph that are believed to some degree (which we defined as the arguments that have a probability assignment greater than 0.5). We consider various constraints on the probability assignment. Some constraints correspond to standard notions of extensions, such as grounded or stable extensions, and some constraints give us new kinds of extensions.


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Polynomial-time Updates of Epistemic States in a Fragment of Probabilistic Epistemic Argumentation (Technical Report)

Jun 12, 2019
Nico Potyka, Sylwia Polberg, Anthony Hunter

Probabilistic epistemic argumentation allows for reasoning about argumentation problems in a way that is well founded by probability theory. Epistemic states are represented by probability functions over possible worlds and can be adjusted to new beliefs using update operators. While the use of probability functions puts this approach on a solid foundational basis, it also causes computational challenges as the amount of data to process depends exponentially on the number of arguments. This leads to bottlenecks in applications such as modelling opponent's beliefs for persuasion dialogues. We show how update operators over probability functions can be related to update operators over much more compact representations that allow polynomial-time updates. We discuss the cognitive and probabilistic-logical plausibility of this approach and demonstrate its applicability in computational persuasion.


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Epistemic Graphs for Representing and Reasoning with Positive and Negative Influences of Arguments

Feb 21, 2018
Anthony Hunter, Sylwia Polberg, Matthias Thimm

This paper introduces epistemic graphs as a generalization of the epistemic approach to probabilistic argumentation. In these graphs, an argument can be believed or disbelieved up to a given degree, thus providing a more fine--grained alternative to the standard Dung's approaches when it comes to determining the status of a given argument. Furthermore, the flexibility of the epistemic approach allows us to both model the rationale behind the existing semantics as well as completely deviate from them when required. Epistemic graphs can model both attack and support as well as relations that are neither support nor attack. The way other arguments influence a given argument is expressed by the epistemic constraints that can restrict the belief we have in an argument with a varying degree of specificity. The fact that we can specify the rules under which arguments should be evaluated and we can include constraints between unrelated arguments permits the framework to be more context--sensitive. It also allows for better modelling of imperfect agents, which can be important in multi--agent applications.


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Extraction of evidence tables from abstracts of randomized clinical trials using a maximum entropy classifier and global constraints

Sep 17, 2015
Antonio Trenta, Anthony Hunter, Sebastian Riedel

Systematic use of the published results of randomized clinical trials is increasingly important in evidence-based medicine. In order to collate and analyze the results from potentially numerous trials, evidence tables are used to represent trials concerning a set of interventions of interest. An evidence table has columns for the patient group, for each of the interventions being compared, for the criterion for the comparison (e.g. proportion who survived after 5 years from treatment), and for each of the results. Currently, it is a labour-intensive activity to read each published paper and extract the information for each field in an evidence table. There have been some NLP studies investigating how some of the features from papers can be extracted, or at least the relevant sentences identified. However, there is a lack of an NLP system for the systematic extraction of each item of information required for an evidence table. We address this need by a combination of a maximum entropy classifier, and integer linear programming. We use the later to handle constraints on what is an acceptable classification of the features to be extracted. With experimental results, we demonstrate substantial advantages in using global constraints (such as the features describing the patient group, and the interventions, must occur before the features describing the results of the comparison).

* 27 pages, 10 tables 

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Impact of Argument Type and Concerns in Argumentation with a Chatbot

May 02, 2019
Lisa A. Chalaguine, Anthony Hunter, Fiona L. Hamilton, Henry W. W. Potts

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.


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Argument Harvesting Using Chatbots

May 11, 2018
Lisa A. Chalaguine, Anthony Hunter, Henry W. W. Potts, Fiona L. Hamilton

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.


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Domain Modelling in Computational Persuasion for Behaviour Change in Healthcare

Feb 27, 2018
Lisa Chalaguine, Emmanuel Hadoux, Fiona Hamilton, Andrew Hayward, Anthony Hunter, Sylwia Polberg, Henry W. W. Potts

The aim of behaviour change is to help people to change aspects of their behaviour for the better (e.g., to decrease calorie intake, to drink in moderation, to take more exercise, to complete a course of antibiotics once started, etc.). In current persuasion technology for behaviour change, the emphasis is on helping people to explore their issues (e.g., through questionnaires or game playing) or to remember to follow a behaviour change plan (e.g., diaries and email reminders). However, recent developments in computational persuasion are leading to an argument-centric approach to persuasion that can potentially be harnessed in behaviour change applications. In this paper, we review developments in computational persuasion, and then focus on domain modelling as a key component. We present a multi-dimensional approach to domain modelling. At the core of this proposal is an ontology which provides a representation of key factors, in particular kinds of belief, which we have identified in the behaviour change literature as being important in diverse behaviour change initiatives. Our proposal for domain modelling is intended to facilitate the acquisition and representation of the arguments that can be used in persuasion dialogues, together with meta-level information about them which can be used by the persuader to make strategic choices of argument to present.

* 32 pages, 9 figures, draft journal paper 

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