Institute for Web Science and Technologies · Universität Koblenz - Landau
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Seminar "Formal Argumentation"

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Winter Term 2020 / 2021

The research field Knowledge Representation is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that deals with the logical formalization of information and inference processes. Formal models of argumentation are a relatively new and promising approach to knowledge representation. This approach is based on the representation of arguments (i.e., plausible chains of inference for specific conclusions) and interaction between such arguments. Formal models of argumentation are based on human every-day reasoning. They are analytically appealing and therefore form a popular approach to model commonsense reasoning in artificial intelligence.

This seminar continues the topic "formal argumentation" from the course Artificial Intelligence 1. In addition to the abstract argumentation frameworks already presented, further current research topics are discussed, such as structured argumentation, complexity issues, algorithmic questions, and reasoning under uncertainty.

Seminar topics

  1. Bipolar Argumentation [8]
  2. Abstract Dialectical Frameworks [5]
  3. Weak Admissibility [1]
  4. Ranking Semantics for Argumentation [4]
  5. Graded Acceptability [14]
  6. Complexity of Abstract Argumentation [11, 12]
  7. Counting Complexity for Abstract Argumentation [13]
  8. Algorithms for Abstract Argumentation [6]
  9. Parallel Algorithms for Abstract Argumentation [7, 10]
  10. Control Argumentation Frameworks [9, 16]
  11. Weighted Argumentation Frameworks [3, 2]
  12. Epistemic Graphs [15]

The references provide a starting point for a literature survey. It is expected that further literature is taken into account when preparing both presentation and report.


  1. Ringo Baumann, Gerhard Brewka, and Markus Ulbricht. Revisiting the foundations of abstract argumentation - semantics based on weak admissibility and weak defense. In Proceedings of the 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’20), 2020.
  2. Stefano Bistarelli. A Short Introduction to Collective Defense in Weighted Abstract Argumentation Problems, pages 33–43. Springer International Publishing, Cham, 2020.
  3. Stefano Bistarelli, Fabio Rossi, and Francesco Santini. A novel weighted defence and its relaxation in abstract argumentation. International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, 92:66 – 86, 2018.
  4. Elise Bonzon, Jerome Delobelle, Sebastien Konieczny, and Nicolas Maudet. Argumentation ranking semantics based on propagation. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA-2016), 2016.
  5. Gerhard Brewka, Stefan Ellmauthaler, Hannes Strass, Johannes Peter Wallner, and Stefan Woltran. Abstract dialectical frameworks revisited. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI’13), 2013.
  6. Federico Cerutti, Sarah A. Gaggl, Matthias Thimm, and Johannes P. Wallner. Foundations of implementations for formal argumentation. In Pietro Baroni, Dov Gabbay, Massimiliano Giacomin, and Leendert van der Torre, editors, Handbook of Formal Argumentation, chapter 15. College Publications, February 2018. Also appears in IfCoLog Journal of Logics and their Applications 4(8):2623–2706, October 2017.
  7. Federico Cerutti, Ilias Tachmazidis, Mauro Vallati, Sotirios Batsakis, Massimiliano Giacomin, and Grigoris Antoniou. Exploiting parallelism for hard problems in abstract argumentation. In Proceedings of the 29th AAAI Conference (AAAI’15), 2015.
  8. Andrea Cohen, Sebastian Gottifredi, Alejandro Javier Garcia, and Guillermo Ricardo Simari. A survey of different approaches to support in argumentation systems. Knowledge Eng. Review, 29(5):513–550, 2014.
  9. Yannis Dimopoulos, Jean-Guy Mailly, and Pavlos Moraitis. Control argumentation frameworks. In Proceedings of the Thirty-Second AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (AAAI-18), the 30th innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI-18), and the 8th AAAI Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence (EAAI-18), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, February 2-7, 2018, pages 4678–4685, 2018.
  10. Sylvie Doutre, Mickael Lafages, and Marie-Christine Lagasquie-Schiex. A distributed and clustering-based algorithm for the enumeration problem in abstract argumentation. In Pro- ceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (PRIMA’19), 2019.
  11. Paul E. Dunne. The computational complexity of ideal semantics. Artificial Intelligence, 173(18):1559–1591, December 2009.
  12. Wolfgang Dvorak. Computational Aspects of Abstract Argumentation. PhD thesis, Technische Universität Wien, 2012.
  13. Johannes K. Fichte, Markus Hecher, and Arne Meier. Counting complexity for reasoning in abstract argumentation. In Proceedings of the 33rd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’19), 2019.
  14. Davide Grossi and Sanjay Modgil. On the graded acceptability of arguments in abstract and instantiated argumentation. Artificial Intelligence, 275:138–173, October 2019.
  15. Anthony Hunter, Sylwia Polberg, and Matthias Thimm. Epistemic graphs for representing and reasoning with positive and negative influences of arguments. Artificial Intelligence, 281:103236, April 2020.
  16. Andreas Niskanen, Daniel Neugebauer, and Matti Järvisalo. Controllability of contr argu mentation frameworks. In Proceedings of the 29th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the 17th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI- PRICAI 2020), International, 2020. International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence.


If you would like to participate in the seminar, please register with PD Dr. Matthias Thimm by sending an informal e-mail stating your 3 favourite topics. The deadline for this is August 10, 2020. The final allocation of topics will take place in a preliminary online meeting on August 11 at 10:00 a.m. via BigBlueButton (link will be send right before the meeting).

The seminar will be conducted completely digital. Each participant prepares a presentation on his/her topic and creates a video of the presentation (can be a screencast or a video in front of a black board, etc.). The video must not exceed 30 minutes runtime and the deadline for submitting the video is February 28, 2020.

In addition to the video presentation, each participant has to submit a written paper, which presents the chosen topic on max. 12 pages (for the papers please use the LaTeX-template of the LNCS Proceedings series). The deadline for submitting the paper is March 31, 2020.

Please adhere to the following general guidelines when preparing the presentation and the paper: pdf


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