Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A review of current defeasible reasoning implementations


This article surveys existing practical implementations of both defeasible and argumentation-based reasoning engines and associated literature. We aim to summarize the current state of the art in the research area, show that there are many similiarities and connections between the various implementations and also highlight the differences regarding evaluation goals and strategies. An important goal of this paper is to argue for the need for well-designed empirical evaluations, as well as formal complexity analysis, in order to justify the practical applicability of a reasoning engine. There are indeed many challenges to be faced in developing implementations of argumentation. Not least of these is the inherent computational complexity of the formal models. We cover some of the ways these challenges have been addressed, and provide pointers for future directions in realizing the goal of practical argumentation.

Hide All
Alferes J. J. & Pereira L. M. 1996 Reasoning with Logic Programming. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Amgoud L. & Prade H. 2004 Using arguments for making decisions: a possibilistic logic approach. In AUAI '04: Proceedings of the 20th conference on Uncertainty in artificial intelligence. Arlington, Virginia: AUAI Press, pp. 10–17.
Antoniou G. 1997 Nonmonotonic Reasoning. MIT Press.
Antoniou G. & Bikakis A. 2007 Dr-prolog: A system for defeasible reasoning with rules and ontologies on the semantic web. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 19(2), 233245.
Antoniou G., Billington D., Governatori G. & Maher M. J. 2001 Representation results for defeasible logic. ACM Transactions on Computational Logic 2(2), 255287.
Bench-Capon T. J. M. 2003 Persuasion in practical argument using value-based argumentation frameworks. Journal of Logic Computation 13(3), 429448.
Besnard P. & Hunter A. Elements of Argumentation. In preparation, 2008.
Billington D. & Rock A. 2001 Propositional plausible logic: Introduction and implementation. Studia Logica 67(2), 243269.
Bondarenko A., Dung P. M., Kowalski R. & Toni F. 1997 An abstract, argumentation-theoretic approach to default reasoning. Artificial Intelligence 93(1–2), 63101.
Boolos G., Burgess J. & Jeffrey R. 2002 Computability and Logic. Cambridge University Press.
Bryant D. & Krause P. J. 2006 An implementation of a lightweight argumentation engine for agent applications. In Proceedings of 10th European Conference on Logics in Artificial Intelligence (JELIA06), vol. 4160 of LNAI. Springer, pp. 469–472.
Bryant D., Krause P. J. & Vreeswijk G. 2006 Argue tuprolog: A lightweight argumentation engine for agent applications. In Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA06). IOS Press, pp. 27–32.
Capobianco M. & Chesnevar C. I. 1999 Introducing dialectical bases in defeasible argumentation. In Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Aspectos Teoricos de la Inteligencia Artificial (ATIA), San Juan, Argentina, pp. 1–10.
Capobianco M., Chesnevar C. & Simari G. 2004 An argument-based framework to model an agent's beliefs in a dynamic environment. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Argumentation in Multiagent Systems. AAMAS 2004.
Capobianco M., Chesnevar C. I. & Simari G. R. 2005 Argumentation and the dynamics of warranted beliefs in changing environments. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 11(2), 127151.
Causey R. L. 1994 Evid: A system for interactive defeasible reasoning. Decision Support Sytems 11(2), 103131.
Causey R. L. 2003 Computational dialogic defeasible reasoning. Argumentation 17(4), 421450.
Cayrol C., Doutre S. & Mengin J. 2001 Dialectical proof theories for the credulous preferred semantics of argumentation frameworks. In ECSQARU '01: Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty, London, UK: Springer-Verlag, pp. 668–679.
Cayrol C., Doutre S. & Mengin J. 2003 On decision problems related to the preferred semantics for argumentation frameworks. Journal of Logic Computation 13(3), 377403.
Cecchi L. A., Fillottrani P. R. & Simari G. R. 2006 On the complexity of deLP through game semantics. In Dix J. & Hunter A. (eds.). Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning (NMR 2006). IfI Technical Report Series, Clausthal University, pp. 386–384.
Chesnevar C. I. & Maguitman A. G. 2004 Arguenet: an argument-based recommender system for solving web search queries. In Proceedings. 2004 2nd International IEEE Conference in Intelligent Systems, pp. 282–287.
Chesnevar C. I., Maguitman A. G. & Loui R. P. 2000a Logical models of argument. ACM Computing Surveys, 32(4), 337383.
Chesnevar C. I., Simari G. R. & Garca A. J. 2000b Pruning search space in defeasible argumentation. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Advances and Trends in Search in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 40–47.
Chisholm R. 1997 Theory of Knowledge. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Cholewinski P., Marek V. W., Mikitiuk A. & Truszczyński M. 1999 Computing with default logic. Artificial Intelligence 112(1–2), 105146.
Colmerauer A., Kanoui H., Roussel P. & Pasero R. 1973 Un systeme de communication homme-machine en francais. Technical report, Groupe de Recherche en Intelligence Artificielle, Universite d'Aix-Marseille II.
Covington M. A. 2000 Logical control of an elavator with defeasible logic. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 45(7), 13471349.
Denti E., Omicini A. & Ricci A. 2001 tuProlog: A light-weight prolog for internet applications and infrastructures. In Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages (PADL), 184198.
Denti E., Omicini A. & Ricci A. 2005 Multi-paradigm java-prolog integration in tuProlog. Science of Computer Programming. 57(2), 217250.
Dimopoulos Y., Nebel B. & Toni F. 2000 Finding admissible and preferred arguments can be very hard. In Cohn A. G., Giunchiglia F. & Selman B. (eds.). KR2000: Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 53–61.
Dimopoulos Y., Nebel B. & Toni F. 2002 On the computational complexity of assumption-based argumentation for default reasoning. Artificial Intellegence 141(1), 5778.
Dimopoulos Y. & Torres A. 1996 Graph theoretical structures in logic programs and default theories. Theoretical Computer Science. 170(1–2), 209244.
Dowling W. F. & Gallier J. H. 1984 Linear-time algorithms for testing the satisfiability of propositional horn formulae. Journal of Logic Programming 1, 267284.
Dung P. M. 1995 On the acceptability of arguments and its fundamental role in nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming and n-person games. Artificial Intelligence 77(2), 321358.
Dung P. M., Kowalski R. A. & Toni F. 2006 Dialectic proof procedures for assumption based admissible argumentation frameworks. Artificial Intelligence 170(2), 114159.
Dunne P. E. & Bench-Capon T. J. M. 2002 Coherence infinite argument systems. Artificial Intelligence 141(1), 187203.
Gaertner D. & Toni F. 2007 Casapi—a system for credulous and sceptical argumentation. In Proceedings of First International Workshop on Argumentation and Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Arizona, USA.
Garcia A., Gollapally D., Tarau P. & Simari G. 2000 Deliberative stock market agents using jinni and defeasible logic programming. In In Proceedings of the ECAI Workshop on Engineering Societies in the Agents. Springer Verlag.
Garcia A. & Simari G. R. 1999 Parallel defeasible argumentation. Journal of computer science and technology special issue: Artificial intelligence and evolutive computation. 1(2), 4557.
Garcia A. J. & Simari G. R. 2004 Defeasible logic programming: an argumentative approach. Theory and Practice of Logic Programming 4(2), 95138.
García A. J., Rotstein N. D. & Simari G. R. 2007 Dialectical Explanations in Defeasible Argumentation. In Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty (ECSQARU-07). Springer LNCS, pp. 295–307.
Garey M. & Johnson D. 1979 Computers and Intractability. New York: W. H. Freeman.
Gelfond M. & Lifschitz V. 1991 Classical negation in logic programs and disjunctive databases. New Generation Computing 9(3/4), 365386.
Haenni R. 2001 Cost-bounded argumentation. International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 26, 101127(27).
Jakobovits H. & Vermeir D. 1999 Dialectic semantics for argumentation frameworks. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. ACM Press, pp. 53–65.
Kowalski R. 1979 Algorithm = logic + control. Communications of the ACM 22, 424436.
Loui R. & Simari G. 1994 NATHAN (Spec13): Argues defeasibly in first-order logic. Last accessed: 13th February 2007.
Loui R. P., Norman J., Olson J. & Merrill A. 1993 A design for reasoning with policies, precedents, and rationales. In ICAIL '93: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. New York, NY: ACM Press, pp. 202–211.
Loyd J. 1984 Foundations of Logic Programming. Springer-Verlag.
Maher M. J., Rock A., Antoniou G., Billington D. & Miller T. 2001a Deimos. available from Last accessed: 10 September 2006.
Maher M. J., Rock A., Antoniou G., Billington D. & Miller T. 2001b Efficient defeasible reasoning systems. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools, 10(4), 483501.
Nudelman E. 2005 Empirical Approaches to the Complexity of Hard Problems. PhD thesis, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Nute D. 1988 Defeasible reasoning and decision support systems. Decision Support Systems 4(1), 97110.
Nute D. 1993 Defeasible prolog. In Proceedings of AAAI Fall Symposium on Automated Deduction in Nonstandard Logics, (Technical Report FS-93-01), pp. 105–112.
Nute D. 1994 Defeasible logic. In Gabbay D., Hogger C. J. & Robinson J. A. (eds.), Handbook of Logic in Artificial Intelligence and Logic Programming, Volume 3: Nonmonotonic Reasoning and Uncertain Reasoning, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 353–395.
Nute D., Mann R. I. & Brewer B. F. 1990 Controlling expert system recommendations with defeasible logic. Decision Support Systems 6(2), 153164.
Pollock J. L. 1995 Cognitive Carpentry: A Blueprint for how to build a person. MIT Press, A Bradford Book, USA.
Pollock J. L. 1992 How to reason defeasibly. Artificial Intelligence 57(1), 142.
Pollock J. L. 1999 Rational cognition in OSCAR. In Workshop of Agent Theories, Architectures, and Languages, pp. 71–90.
Prakken H. & Vresswijk G. 2002 Logics for defeasible argumentation. In Gabbay D. & Guenthner F. (eds.), Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 2nd edn.The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 218–319.
Rock A. 2006a Deimos: A Query Answering Defeasible Logic System. Last accessed: 19th November 2006.
Rock A. 2006b Phobos. Available from Last accessed: 10 September 2006.
Rock A. 2006c Phobos (Version 2): A Query Answering Plausible Logic System. Last accessed: 19th November 2006.
Rock A. & Billington D. 2000 An implementation of propositional plausible logic. In Proceedings of 23rd Australasian Computer Science Conference, 2000. ACSC 2000. IEEE Press, pp. 204–210.
Russell S. J. & Norvig P. 2003 Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2nd edn.Prentice Hall
Schroeder M. 1999 An efficient argumentation framework for negotiating autonomous agents. In MAAMAW '99: Proceedings of the 9th European Workshop on Modelling Autonomous Agents in a Multi-Agent World. London, UK: Springer-Verlag, pages 140–149.
Shortliffe D. A. 1976 MYCIN: Computer-Based Medical Consultations. Elsevier.
Simari G. & Loui R. 1982 Mathematical treatment of defeasible reasoning and its implementation. Artificial Intelligence 53(2–3), 125157.
Simari G. R. 1989 A Mathematical Treatment of Defeasible Reasoning and its Implementation. PhD thesis, Washington University in Saint Louis.
Sun Microsystems. 2007 Welcome to NetBeans. Available from Last accessed: 10 September 2007.
Tarau P. 1999 Jinni: Intelligent mobile agent programming at the intersection of java and prolog. In Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Practical Application of Intelligent Agnets and Multi-Agents, London, UK, pp. 109–123.
Tolchinsky P., Modgil S., Cortes U. & Sanchez-Marre M. 2006 Cbr and argument schemes for collaborative decision making. In Proceedings of 1st International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA06). IOS Press.
Van Gelder A., Ross K. A. & Schlipf J. S. 1991 The well-founded semantics for general logic programs. Journal of the ACM 38(3), 620650.
Vreeswijk G. 1993a IACAS: An Interactive Argumentation System—User Manual Version 1.0. Last accessed: 19th November 2006.
Vreeswijk G. 1993b Studies in Defeasible Argumentation. PhD thesis, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Vreeswijk G. A. W. 1995 IACAS: an implementation of Chisholm's principles of knowledge. In The Proceedings of the 2nd Dutch/German Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Utrecht., pp. 225–234.
Vreeswijk G. A. W. 2006a Vreeswijk's Admissible Defence Sets. Available from www:cs:uu:nl/gv/code/grdadm/ Last accessed: 29 September 2006.
Vreeswijk G. A. W. 2006b An algorithm to compute minimaly grounded and admissible defence sets. In Proceedings of 1st International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA06), IOS Press, pp. 109–120.
Vreeswijk G. A. W. 2006c Argumentation System (AS). Available from Last accessed: 10 September 2006.
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? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 58 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.