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Title: A meta-level argumentation framework for representing and reasoning about disagreement
Author: Haggith, Mandy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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The contribution of this thesis is to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically to the sub-field called knowledge engineering. Knowledge engineering involves the computer representation and use of the knowledge and opinions of human experts. In real world controversies, disagreements can be treated as opportunities for exploring the beliefs and reasoning of experts via a process called argumentation. The central claim of this thesis is that a formal computer-based framework for argumentation is a useful solution to the problem of representing and reasoning with multiple conflicting viewpoints. The problem which this thesis addresses is how to represent arguments in domains in which there is controversy and disagreement between many relevant points of view. The reason that this is a problem is that most knowledge based systems are founded in logics, such as first order predicate logic, in which inconsistencies must be eliminated from a theory in order that meaningful inference is possible from it. I argue that it is possible to devise an argumentation framework by describing one (FORA: Framework for Opposition and Reasoning about Arguments). FORA contains a language for representing the views of multiple experts who disagree or have differing opinions. FORA also contains a suite of software tools which can facilitate debate, exploration of multiple viewpoints, and construction and revision of knowledge bases which are challenged by opposing opinions or evidence. A fundamental part of this thesis is the claim that arguments are meta-level structures which describe the relationships between statements contained in knowledge bases. It is important to make a clear distinction between representations in knowledge bases (the object-level) and representations of the arguments implicit in knowledge bases (the meta-level). FORA has been developed to make this distinction clear and its main benefit is that the argument representations are independent of the object-level representation language.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available