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Title: Logical argumentation using generalised knowledge
Author: Mann, N.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Computers are increasingly being used in situations where a conclusion must be reached based on a wide range of knowledge. As the volume of this stored knowledge increases, so does the possibility of inconsistency within that knowledge. Argumen tation is one solution to this problem, and argumentation based upon propositional logic has been extensively explored in the literature. However, this is insufficient for many applications, such as the use of temporal data. First order logic is a possi ble solution from the literature, but not all of the issues concerning this have been explored. This thesis discusses aspects of argumentation using extensions to propositional logic in order to explore the space of possibilities between propositional logic and full first order logic. In particular, logics with some form of generalisation are considered, incorporating variable, function and predicate symbols. The first form of generalisation considered includes an argumentation system using a calculus which is capable of expressing temporal knowledge. This general isation offers two new and complementary notions of an argument, and these are shown to have some advantages over more traditional arguments in some circum stances. The second form of generalisation concerns predicate and function symbols, and is based around applications of causal mapping, which is a technique using a graphical representation of a logical database in order to show how letters within that database influence each other. Argumentation using this generalisation is con sidered, and a method for representing arguments graphically in causal maps is introduced. The third form of generalisation considers full first order logic, and the methods proposed in previous chapters are used as an insight into problems within first order argumentation. An alternative definition of an argument is proposed as a solution to these problems, and these are considered within argument trees. In conclusion, in this thesis I have shown how first order extensions to proposi tional logic can be used within argumentation systems. I have shown some prob lems when using generalisations, and presented solutions to these problems. These problems and solutions are explored when using first order logic directly in argu mentation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available