The Second Summer School on Argumentation: Computational and Linguistic Perspectives

September 8th - 12th 2016
Potsdam, Germany


The programme of SSA'2016 will consist of courses, keynotes, and the student program. Courses give a broad introduction into a field and consists of 3 lectures of each 90 minutes. Keynotes give a focused overview on a specialized topic and consist of a single 60 minutes talk. The student program consists of a poster session and a mentoring session. Participants of the student program have to submit a 2-page abstract before the school (see Student session).

Programme overview

Thursday, 08.09.16 Friday, 09.09.16 Saturday, 10.09.16 Sunday, 11.09.16 Monday, 12.09.16
09:15-09:30 Welcome
09:30-10:30 K1 (Brewka) K2 (Gordon) K3 (Gabbay) K4 (Budzynska) K5 (van der Torre)
10:30-11:00 Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
11:00-12:30 C2 (Cerutti) C1 (Hunter) C2 (Cerutti) C4 (Verheij) C2 (Cerutti)
12:30-14:00 Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break
14:00-15:30 C3 (Gurevych/Stab) C3 (Gurevych/Stab) C4 (Verheij) C1 (Hunter) C4 (Verheij)
15:30-16:00 Coffee break Coffee break with
student poster session
Coffee break Coffee break Closing
16:00-17:30 C1 (Hunter) C3 (Gurevych/Stab) Mentoring session
18:00 Welcome Reception
19:00 Social Dinner

Poster and Mentoring session

The following thesis abstracts have been accepted for poster presentation and mentoring:

The proceedings of SSA'16 are available at arXiv: Proceedings of SSA'16.


Courses give a broad introduction into a field and consists of 3 lectures of each 90 minutes.

The list of courses and its speakers is as follows:

C1 Anthony Hunter
Department of Computer Science,
University College London, UK

Title: Introduction to structured argumentation
Abstract: In structured argumentation, there is an emphasis on the logical structure of arguments and counterarguments. In this course, we will look at the deductive approach in which each argument is a tuple (X,Y) where X is a consistent set of formulae that entail the formula Y. For entailment, we will look at classical logic (propositional and predicate) and non-classical logics (such as conditional logics). We will consider how the deductive approach can be used for generating arguments from knowledge, and for representing arguments arising in natural language, and we will investigate how we might handle enthymemes (arguments where some premises and/or the claim are not explicit) arising in natural language. We will also consider similarities and differences with other approaches to structured argumentation (e.g. ASPIC+, ABA, and DeLP).
C2 Federico Cerutti
School of Computer Science & Informatics,
Cardiff University, UK

Title: Abstract Argumentation and Interfaces to Argumentative Reasoning
Abstract: Introduction to abstract argumentation and semantics, signatures and decomposability. Complexity of reasoning problems on an abstract argumentation framework and state-of-the-art solvers. Graphical interfaces to reasoning problems and natural language interfaces, with introduction on Natural Language Generation.
Iryna Gurevych
Department of Computer Science
Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Christian Stab
Department of Computer Science
Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Title: Argument Mining
Abstract: Argument Mining is a novel research area in Natural Language Processing (NLP) that involves the identification and analysis of natural language arguments in heterogeneous sources. In this course, we will introduce all subtasks that are required to recognize argumentation structures and highlight the recent state-of-the-art methods in the field. We will also provide an overview of existing corpora and provide a hands-on experiment on a selected task. For the practical part of the course, we recommend that each participant brings a Laptop with the current Java SDK and Eclipse.
C4 Bart Verheij
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Title: Logical Reasoning as Argumentation, Or: How Lessons from the Law Are Changing Artificial Intelligence
Abstract: Toulmin proposed to study logical reasoning as lawyers do: as argumentation. In this course, it is shown how Toulmin's research program is progressing. Indeed, by the interdisciplinary study of formal models, computational tools and real arguments, we today have a better understanding of the nature of argumentation. It is argued that, interestingly, argumentation also inspires new techniques that are changing artificial intelligence. Lecture 1 "Argumentation and Artificial Intelligence": An overview is given of how ideas from argumentation theory have been picked up in artificial intelligence. The focus will be more on general ideas and approaches, and less on formal detail. Lecture 2 "Argumentation in the law: case-based and rule-based": In the law, argumentation is central. Two kinds of argument-based reasoning are prominent. In the first kind, precedent cases are followed by analogy; in the second, rules are applied when their conditions are fulfilled. Lecture 3 "Argumentation and evidence: Combining arguments, scenarios and probabilities": For deciding about the facts in a criminal case, different normative frameworks aiming at the prevention of erroneous reasoning have been proposed: arguments, scenarios and probabilities. The normative frameworks are characterized and their relations investigated, for instance by discussing how arguments and scenarios can be studied using Bayesian networks. Literature: van Eemeren, F.H., Garssen, B., Krabbe, E.C.W., Snoeck Henkemans, A.F., Verheij, B., & Wagemans, J.H.M. (2014). Chapter 11: Argumentation and Artificial Intelligence. Handbook of Argumentation Theory. Dordrecht: Springer.


Keynotes give a focused overview on a specialized topic and consist of a single 60 minutes talk.

The list of keynotes and its speakers is as follows:

K1 Gerhard Brewka
Computer Science Institute
University of Leipzig, Germany

Title: GRAPPA: A Semantical Framework for Graph-Based Argument Processing
Abstract: Graphical models are widely used in argumentation to visualize relationships among propositions or arguments. The intuitive meaning of the links in the graphs is typically expressed using labels of various kinds. In this talk we present a general semantical framework for assigning a precise meaning to labelled argument graphs which makes them suitable for automatic evaluation. Our approach rests on the notion of explicit acceptance conditions, as first studied in Abstract Dialectical Frameworks (ADFs). We first recall the basic notions and semantics underlying ADFs, and then show how they need to be modified for GRAPPA. The major difference is that acceptance conditions used here are functions from multisets of labels to truth values. We define various Dung style semantics for argument graphs. We also introduce a pattern language for specifying acceptance functions. Moreover, we show how argument graphs can be compiled to ADFs, thus providing an automatic evaluation tool via existing ADF implementations.
K2 Tom Gordon
Fraunhofer FOKUS Berlin and
University of Potsdam, Germany

Title: Argumentation for Practical Reasoning
Abstract: This tutorial will survey and compare prior work on semi-formal and formal models of argument for supporting practical reasoning in deliber- ation dialogues, including Issue-Based Information Systems (Kunz and Rittel 1970), Value-Based Argumentation Frameworks (T. Bench-Capon 2003), models of argumentation schemes for practical reasoning (Atkinson, Bench-Capon, and McBurney 2006; Atkinson and Bench-Capon 2007; D. Walton 2015), cumulative arguments (Henkemans 2000; D. N. Walton, Tindale, and Gordon 2014), accrual of arguments (Verheij 1995; Prakken 2005) and argument-based approaches to multi-criteria decision analysis.
K3 Dov Gabbay
Group of Logic, Language and Computation,
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Title: Argumentation, Logic, and Sex
Abstract: We examine in detail the argumentation features of the scheme of "Argument from Expert Opinion". We build a model for expert opinion on the question of “the degree of risk of a sex offender". We discover that in order to properly model expert practice in this area we need to use the new notion of “Attack as Information Input". The model is generic and is not restricted to the sex offence area of expertise. We shall also discuss the related notions of Informational Argumentation Networks Argumentation and reasoning under the influence of Universal Distortions.
K4 Katarzyna Budzynska
Polish National Academy of Sciences, Poland, and
University of Dundee, UK

Title: Arguments and Ethos in Dialogical Context
Abstract: The talk will present two lines of research: argument mining from dialogue and ethos mining in political debate. In both cases, computational techniques are founded upon philosophy of language and linguistics, and in particular upon Inference Anchoring Theory (Budzynska and Reed 2011).
K5 Leon van der Torre
Group of Logic, Language and Computation,
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Title: Argumentation Dynamics
Abstract: I will give a brief overview of formal research done in argumentation dynamics, focusing on dynamics at an abstract level, and relate it to various other work in abstract argumentation, such as input/output argumentation and contrary-to-duty argumentation. I will also highlight some open problems in argumentation dynamics.


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