Dynamics in Formal Argumentation
Carbogim, Daniela Vasconcelos
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In this thesis we are concerned with the role of formal argumentation in artificial intelligence, in particular in the field of knowledge engineering. The intuition behind argumentation is that one can reason with imperfect information by constructing and weighing up arguements intended to give support in favour or against alternative conclusions. In dynamic argumentation, such arguements may be revised and strengthened in order yo increase to decrease the acceptability of controversial positions. This thesis studies the theory, architecture, development and applications of formal arguementation systems from the procedural perspective of actually generating argumentation processes. First, the types of problems that can be tackled via the argumentation paradigm in knowledge engineering are characterised. Second, an abstract formal framework are built from an underlying set of axioms, represented here as executatble logic programs. Finally an architecture for dynamic arguementation systems is defined, and domain-specific applications are presented within different domaind, thus grounding problems with very distinctive characteristics into a similar source in argumentation. The methods and definitions desribed in this thesis have been assessed on various bases, including the reconstruction of informal arguements and of arguments captured by existing formalisms, the relation between our framework and these formalisms, and examples of dynamic argumentation applications in the safety-engineering and multi-agent domains.