Skip to main content Accessibility help

Argument diagramming in logic, law and artificial intelligence


In this paper, we present a survey of the development of the technique of argument diagramming covering not only the fields in which it originated — informal logic, argumentation theory, evidence law and legal reasoning — but also more recent work in applying and developing it in computer science and artificial intelligence (AI). Beginning with a simple example of an everyday argument, we present an analysis of it visualized as an argument diagram constructed using a software tool. In the context of a brief history of the development of diagramming, it is then shown how argument diagrams have been used to analyse and work with argumentation in law, philosophy and AI.

Hide All
Aleven, K. D., 2003 Using background knowledge in case-based legal reasoning: a computational model and an intelligent learning environment. Artificial Intelligence 150, 183237.
Anderson, Terence and William L, Twining, 1998 Analysis of Evidence: How to Do Things with Facts Based on Wigmore’s ‘Science of Judicial Proof’. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Beardsley, Monroe C, 1950 Practical Logic. New York: Prentice-Hall.
Carbogim, Daniela, Robertson, David and Lee, John, 2000 Argument-based applications to knowledge engineering. Knowledge Engineering Review 15(2), 119149.
Carenini, Giuseppe and Moore, Johanna, 2001 An empirical study of the influence of user tailoring on evaluative argument effectiveness. In Proceedings of the 17th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2001) San Francisco, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1307–1314.
Chesñevar, Carlos, Maguitman, Gabriela and Loui, Ron, 2000 Logical models of argument. ACM Computing Surveys 32(4), 337383.
Conklin, Jeff, 2003 Dialog mapping: reflections on an industrial strength case study. In Kirschner et al., 2003, pp. 117–136.
Crosswhite, Jim, Fox, John, Reed, Chris, Scaltsas, Theodore and Stumpf, Simone, 2003 Computational models of rhetorical argument. In Reed, Chris and Norman, Timothy (eds.), Argumentation Machines. Dordrecht: Kluwer, pp. 175–210.
Dung, P, 1995 On the acceptability of arguments and its fundamental role in nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming and n-person games. Artificial Intelligence 77, 321357.
Finocchiaro, Maurice, 1980 Galileo and the Art of Reasoning. Dordrecht: Reidel.
Freeman, James B, 1991 Dialectics and the Macrostructure of Arguments. Foris: Berlin.
Gordon, Thomas F and Karacapilidis, N, 1997 The zeno argumentation framework. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on AI and Law, New York: ACM Press, pp. 10–18.
Gordon, Thomas F, Karacapilidis, N, Voss, H and Zauke, A, 1997a Computer-mediated spatial planning. In Timmermans, H (ed.) Decision Support Systems in Urban Planning, h.p.: E. and F. N. Spon. London, 299–309.
Grasso, Floriana, Cawsey, Alison and Jones, Ray, 2000 Dialectical argumentation to solve conflicts in advice giving: a case study in the promotion of healthy nutrition. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 53(6), 10771115.
Grennan, Wayne, 1997 Informal Logic. Buffalo: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Harrell, Maralee, Using argument diagramming software in the classroom Teaching Philosophy, 28(2), 2005,
Hirsch, L, Saeedi, M, Cornillon, J and Litosseliti, L, 2004 A structured dialogue tool for argumentative learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 20, 7280.
Horn, Robert E, 2003 Infrastructure for navigating interdisciplinary debates: critical decisions for representing argumentation. In Kirschner et al., 2003, pp. 165–184.
Hurley, Patrick, 2003 A Concise Introduction to Logic, 8th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth.
Kirschner, Paul A, Buckingham Shum, Simon J and Carr, Chad S (eds.), 2003 Visualizing Argumentation. London: Springer.
Krause, P, Ambler, S, Elvang-Goransson, M and Fox, J, 1995 A logic of argumentation for reasoning under uncertainty. Computational Intelligence 11, 113131.
Palmer, Andrew, 2003 Proof and the Preparation of Trials. Sydney, Australia: Lawbook Co.
Paolucci, Massimo, Suthers, Dan and Weiner, Arlene, 1995 Belvedere: stimulating students' critical discussion. In Proceedings CHI'95: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York, ACM Press, pp. 123–124.
Parsons, Simon and Jennings, Nicholas, 1996 Negotiation through argumentation: a preliminary report. In Proceedings of ICMAS 96, pp. 267–274.
Pearl, Judea, 1984 Heuristics: Intelligent Search Strategies for Computer Problem Solving, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Pollock, John, 1995 Cognitive Carpentry. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Pollock, John, 2002 Defeasible reasoning with variable degrees of justification II, greatly revised and expanded version of Defeasible reasoning with variable degrees of justification. Artificial Intelligence 133, 233282. Available from
Reed, Chris and Norman, Timothy J (eds.), 2003 Argumentation Machines. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Reed, Chris and Rowe, Glenn, 2004 Araucaria: software for argument analysis, diagramming and representation. International Journal of AI Tools 14(3–4), 961980.
Rolf, Bertil and Magnusson, C, 2003 Developing the art of argumentation: a software approach In Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argument (ISSA) Sicsat, 919–925.
Schum, David, 1994 Evidential Foundations of Probabilistic Reasoning. Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.
Scriven, Michael, 1976 Reasoning, Point Reyes: Edgepress.
Selvin, Albert M, 2003 Fostering collective intelligence: helping groups use visualized argumentation. In Kirschner et al., 2003, pp. 137–163.
Tillers, Peter, 2003 Probability and Uncertainty in Law. International Summer School Lectures, Konstanz. Available from
Tillers, Peter, 2004 Picturing Inference, An Essay in Honor of Professor Lothar Philipps. Available from
Toulmin, Stephen, 1958 The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Toulmin, Stephen, Richard, Riecke and Allan, Janik, 1984 An Introduction to Reasoning. New York: Macmillan.
Van Gelder, Tim, 2001 The reason! project. The Skeptic 21(2), 912.
Van Gelder, Tim and Rizzo, Alberto, 2001 Reason!able across the curriculum. In 2001: Is IT an Odyssey in Learning? Proceedings of the 2001 Conference of ICT in Education Victoria.
Verheij, Bart, 2005 Virtual Arguments: On the Design of Argument Assistants for Lawyers and Other Arguers. The Hague: T.M.C.Asser Press.
Walton, Douglas, 1996 Argumentation Schemes for Presumptive Reasoning. New York: Erlbaum.
Walton, Douglas, Henry, Prakken and Chris, Reed, 2003 Argumentation schemes and generalisations in reasoning about evidence. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, Edinburgh, 2003. New York: ACM Press, pp. 32–41.
Whately, Richard, 1836 Elements of Logic. 6th ed. London: B. Fellowes.
Wigmore, John Henry, 1913 The Principles of Judicial Proof. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 2nd ed. 1931.
Wright, Sewall, 1921 Correlation and causation. Journal of Agricultural Research 20, 557585.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Knowledge Engineering Review
  • ISSN: 0269-8889
  • EISSN: 1469-8005
  • URL: /core/journals/knowledge-engineering-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed