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Title: An argumentation framework supporting evidential reasoning with applications to contract monitoring
Author: Oren, Nir
ISNI:       0000 0001 3459 5952
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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In this thesis we present a framework for argument which aims to support concepts useful for evidential reasoning.  The framework is presented at two levels: an abstract level, in which arguments are not treated as concrete entities, and a concrete level, in which arguments are underpinned by Subjective Logic.  At the abstract level, the framework provides the theoretical underpinnings for the concept of support in a manner distinct from other frameworks.  Support for an argument can mean that the argument may be inferred from existing arguments, or that the argument is a prima facie argument.  At the concrete level, support for burden of proof, argument schemes and sensing actions is introduced.  A simple dialogue game is also presented, which shows how agents can use the framework to reason about their environment.  Finally we introduce a heuristic that allows agents participating in a dialogue to decide, given multiple possible utterances, which utterance to advance. The second part of the thesis concerns itself with the application of the argument framework to the contract monitoring domain.  We show how the concrete form of the framework allows a set of agents, possibly with conflicting goals, to agree on the most likely state of a contract, and to reach a decision regarding what penalities should be imposed if the contract has been violated. The main contributions of this thesis include an abstract argumentation framework that introduces enhancements over traditional frameworks, and is geared towards evidential reasoning; the framework is instantiated in a novel way using Subjective Logic.  This instantiation allows us to represent important concepts such as burden of proof and argument schemes. We then introduce two contributions that demonstrate the validity of the model in a practical application, namely in the area of automated contracting.  We describe a simple contracting language, and show how agents may use the argument framework to reason about the state of a contract.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available