FUnctionality Sharing In Open eNvironments
Heinz Nixdorf Chair for Distributed Information Systems

INAS: Interactive Argumentation Support for the Scientific Domain of Invasion Biology

Title: INAS: Interactive Argumentation Support for the Scientific Domain of Invasion Biology
Authors: Tina Heger, Sina Zarrieß, Alsayed Algergawy, Jonathan Jeschke, Birgitta König-Ries
Source: Research Ideas and Outcomes 8, e80457
Date: 2022-02-01
Type: Journal Paper

Developing a precise argument is not an easy task. In real-world argumentation scenarios, arguments presented in texts (e.g. scientific publications) often constitute the end result of a long and tedious process. A lot of work on computational argumentation has focused on
analyzing and aggregating these products of argumentation processes, i.e. argumentative texts. In this project, we adopt a complementary perspective: we aim to develop an argumentation machine that supports users during the argumentation process in a scientific context, enabling them to follow ongoing argumentation in a scientific community
and to develop their own arguments. To achieve this ambitious goal, we will focus on a particular phase of the scientific argumentation process, namely the initial phase of claim or hypothesis development. According to argumentation theory, the starting point of an argument is a claim, and also data that serves as a basis for the claim. In scientific
argumentation, a carefully developed and thought-through hypothesis (which we see as Toulmin’s “claim” in a scientific context) is often crucial for researchers to be able to conduct a successful study and, in the end, present a new, high-quality finding or argument. Thus, an initial hypothesis needs to be specific enough that a researcher can
test it based on data, but, at the same time, it should also relate to previous general claims made in the community. We investigate how argumentation machines can (i) represent  concrete and more abstract knowledge on hypotheses and their underlying concepts, (ii) model the process of hypothesis refinement, including data as a basis of refinement, and (iii) interactively support a user in developing her own hypothesis based on these resources.