Research Interests

  • Computational models of argument
  • Autonomous agents and multi-agent systems
  • Argumentation theory
  • Practical reasoning
  • Dialogue interactions and protocols
  • eGovernment and eDemocracy
  • AI and law

My research is centred on computational models of argumentation. In particular, I am interested in the concept of persuasive argument within practical reasoning, reasoning about action. I am interested in modelling the reasoning involved in situations where decisions about actions need to be made, how this is done through the exchange of persuasive arguments, often in the presence of uncertain information, and how this reasoning can be represented for use in intelligent, autonomous software agents. I have demonstrated the applicability of my work in a number of different domains including law, medicine and politics.

Current Research Projects

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project: "The Riverview Law KTP Project" (KTP009763), 12/14 – 11/16. Amount awarded: 269,015 GBP. I am principal investigator on this project, collaborating with the company Riverview Law and co-investigators Frans Coenen and Danushka Bollegala at the University of Liverpool. On the project we will use automated reasoning techniques from artificial intelligence to create a new service line for the company.

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project: “Dendrites: Enabling Instrumentation Connectivity” (KTP009603), 09/14 – 08/17. Amount awarded: 239,214 GBP. I am principal investigator on this project, collaborating with the company CSols and co-investigators Frans Coenen and Terry Payne at the University of Liverpool. On the project we will develop generic intelligent drivers for laboratory instruments.

  • Science and Technology Facilities Council grant: “Lego Rovers Evolution”, 08/14 – 07/16. Amount awarded: 8996 GBP. Louise Dennis is principal investigator this project and I am a co-investigator along with Michael Fisher and Gillian Murray. On the project we will develop an interactive robotics public engagement activity.

Past Research Projects

  • IMPACT: Integrated Method for Policy Making Using Argument Modelling and Computer Assisted Text Analysis
    I was the principal investigator at Liverpool on this European Framework 7 project (Grant Agreement No 247228) in the ICT for Governance and Policy Modeling theme (ICT-2009.7.3). The amount awarded to Liverpool was 255,276 EUR (total grant worth 1,610,000 EUR). The project ran from January 2010 to December 2013. My co-investigator on the project was Trevor Bench-Capon and our primary research assistant was Adam Wyner. On the project, a prototype argumentation toolbox was created to enable arguments about policy proposals to be represented, critiqued, visualised and reasoned about.

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project: “The Deeside Insurance Web-Based Application” (KTP006395), 08/08 – 08/10. Amount awarded: 83,738 GBP. Frans Coenen was principal investigator on this project and I was co-investigator. On the project, a robust tool kit for building web-based applications for insurance sales was developed.

  • ESTRELLA: The European Project for Standardized Transparent Representations in order to Extend Legal Accessibility” Trevor Bench-Capon was principal investigator and I was co-investigator on this European Framework 6 project (IST-2004-027655) in the ICT Research for Innovative Government subprogramme. The amount awarded to Liverpool was 241,347 EUR (total grant worth 2,596,255 EUR). The project ran from January 2006 to August 2008. The research assistant on the project was Adam Wyner. The project was concerned with supporting, in an integrated way, both legal document management and legal knowledge-based systems, through the development of a Legal Knowledge Interchange Format.

More detail about my research can be found in in my publications list.