7th Workshop on
Computational Models of Natural Argument (CMNA VII)

Hyderabad (India)
7 January 2007

Call for Papers

Submissions are invited to the 7th International Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument, to be held as part of the IJCAI 2007 workshop programme.

Important Dates

26 September 2006
Deadline long papers

10 October 2006
Deadline short papers and demos

23 October 2006

15 November 2006
Deadline camera ready versions

The series of workshops on Computational Models of Natural Argument is continuing to attract high quality submissions from researchers around the world. CMNA 1 was held at ICCS in San Francisco in 2001, CMNA 2 was held at ECAI in Lyon in 2002, CMNA 3 was held at IJCAI in Acapulco in 2003, CMNA 4 was held at ECAI in Valencia in 2004, CMNA 5 was held at IJCAI in Edinburgh in 2005, and CMNA 6 was held at ECAI in Riva del Garda in 2006. Like the past editions, CMNA-7 intends to recognise and consolidate the critical mass that research in the field overlapping Argumentation Theory and Artificial Intelligence has developed in recent years. Potential for exploitation of research in the philosophical theory of argumentation, in informal logic, and in dialectics, have been recognised relatively recently by researchers in artificial intelligence, but already fruits of such cross fertilisation are beginning to ripen. Recent successes include agent system negotiation protocols that demonstrate higher levels of sophistication and robustness; argumentation-based models of evidential relations and legal processes that are more expressive; models of language generation that use rhetorical structures to produce effective arguments; groupwork tools that use argument to structure interaction and debate; computer-based learning tools that exploit monological and dialogical argument structures in designing pedagogic environments; decision support systems that build upon argumentation theoretic models of deliberation to better integrate with human reasoning; and models of knowledge engineering structured around core concepts of argument to simplify knowledge elicitation and representation problems. Furthermore, benefits have not been unilateral for AI, as demonstrated by the increasing presence of AI scholars in classical argumentation theory events and journals, and AI implementations of argument finding application in both research and pedagogic practice within philosophy and argumentation theory.

Areas of Interest

The workshop focuses on the issue of modelling "natural" argumentation. Naturalness may involve the use of means which are more immediate than language to illustrate a point, such as graphics or multimedia. Naturalness can also relate to the preference for one particular style of reasoning as opposed to another to structure complex arguments. Or to the use of more sophisticated rhetorical devices, interacting at various layers of abstraction. Or the exploitation of "extra-rational" characteristics of the audience, taking into account emotions and affective factors. In particular, contributions will be solicited addressing, but not limited to, the following areas of interest:

  • The characteristics of "natural" arguments: ontological aspects and cognitive issues.
  • The use of models from informal logic and argumentation theory, and in particular, approaches to specific schools of thought developed in informal logic and argumentation.
  • Rhetoric and affect: the role of emotions, personalities, etc. in models of argumentation.
  • The roles of licentiousness and deceit and the ethical implications of implemented systems demonstrating such features.
  • The linguistic characteristics of natural argumentation, including discourse markers, sentence format, referring expressions, and style. Persuasive discourse processing (discourse goals and structure, speaker/hearer models, content selection, etc.). Language dependence and multilingual approaches. Empirical work based on corpora looking at these topics would be especially welcomed.
  • Non-monotonic, defeasible and uncertain argumentation.
  • Natural argumentation and media: visual arguments, multi-modal arguments, spoken arguments.
  • Models of argumentation in multi-agent systems inspired by or based upon theories of human argument.
  • Empirically driven models of argument in AI and Law.
  • Evaluative arguments and their application in AI systems (such as decision support and advice giving).
  • Issues of domain specificity, and in particular, the independence of argumentation techniques from the domain of application.
  • Applications of computer supported collaborative argumentation, in realistic domains in which argument plays a key role, including pedagogy, e-democracy and public debate.
  • Applications of argumentation based systems, including, for example, the pedagogical, health-related, political, and promotional.
  • Methods to better convey the structure of complex argument, including representation and summarisation.
  • Tools for interacting with structures of argument, including visualisation tools and interfaces supporting natural, stylised or formal dialogue.
  • The building of computational resources such as online corpora related to argumentation.
  • early results from applications and implementations of the ideas from earlier CMNA workshops.

Submission instructions

The workshop encourages submissions in three categories:

  • Long papers, either reporting on completed work or offering a polemic discussion on a burning issue (up to 6000 words)
  • Short papers describing work in progress (up to 3000 words)
  • Demonstration of implemented systems: submissions should be accompanied by written reports (up to 3000 words). Authors should contact the organisers to ensure suitable equipment is available.

Electronic submissions should be received by ALL of the organisers no later than 26 September 2006 for long papers, and 10 October 2006 for short papers and demonstration reports.

Extended versions of selected papers accepted to CMNA 1, CMNA 2 and CMNA 3 are to appear in a special issue of the International Journal of Intelligent Systems. Similar avenues will be explored for CMNA 4 and CMNA 5 and CMNA 6 and CMNA7.

Organising Committee

Rodger Kibble
Department of Computing
Goldsmiths College, University of London
New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK

Chris Reed
Department of Applied Computing
University of Dundee
Dundee DD1 4HN, UK

Floriana Grasso
Department of Computer Science
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 3BF, UK

Programme Committee (tbc)

Leila Amgoud, IRIT, France
Katie Atkinson, University of Liverpool, UK
Trevor Bench-Capon, University of Liverpool, UK
Ulises Cortes, UPC, Spain
Fiorella de Rosis, University of Bari, Italy
Tom Gordon, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin, Germany
Nancy Green, University of North Carolina Greensboro, US
Helmut Horacek, University of the Saarland, Saarbrücken Germany
Anthony Hunter, University College London, UK
Peter McBurney, University of Liverpool, UK
David Moore, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
Ephraim Nissan, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
Paul Piwek, Open University, UK
Henry Prakken, University of Utrecht and University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Oliviero Stock, ITC-IRST, Italy
Doug Walton, University of Winnipeg, Canada