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Contact Person
Prof. Dr. Thomas-Frederick Gordon
Business Unit DPS


Jan. 01, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2017

The Carneades argumentation system, being developed at Fraunhofer FOKUS, is a web-based, collaborative software system for the (re-) construction, evaluation, visualization and interchange of arguments.

In a five-year R&D project, together with Prof. Douglas Walton at the University of Windsor (Canada), funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, we are working on the following five topics:

  • Developing a general formalism for argumentation schemes, which allows a wide variety of schemes to be modeled in such a way as to be useful for argument construction, reconstruction and evaluation, in a well integrated way that allows the many schemes to be used together.
  • Developing a language for specifying argumentation protocols for different dialogue types and extending Carneades with tools which use these specifications to support the procedural aspects of argumentation in dialogues.
  • Developing a formal language for expressing procedural rules or constraints specifying which party shall be assigned a particular burden of proof for some issue, along with the applicable proof standard, in each stage of the dialogue, and to extend the Carneades argumentation software to automatically assign the specified proof burdens and standards as the dialogue proceeds.
  • Modelling methods and canons of statutory interpretation as argumentation schemes, using the formal language we will develop for representing argumentation schemes.
  •  Extending Carneades to provide better support for evidential reasoning, building on prior work interpreting and evaluating evidence by constructing stories and comparing their coherence.