Argument Vault

An information system to support human decision-making

[Overview | People | Contact |Thesis]


The Web has become one of the most important information sources for human decision making. For a wide range of topics users use Web search engines based on keyword search to make informed decisions. Take for instance a typical question that can easily be handled by Web search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!: “What is the active agent in Aspirin?” The result set will be a ranked list of documents, in the best case for entities such as Aspirin accompanied by some info box summing up the entity, its major attributes, and its respective relations. Thus, we are enabled to quickly find out that acetylsalicylic acid is the active agent and then can decide whether to use aspirin e.g., facing known allergies. However, if we consider the more general question of “which medication should we take to alleviate a headache?” the answer is more complex: There exist several drugs with different adverse effects and benefits. The main challenge of this example is that it deals with knowledge which is open to discussion.

In contrast to well-structured SQL-style queries or simple IR-style keyword queries, this leads to a different type of query that we will call claim-based queries, where supporting arguments and counterarguments have to be collected and presented. As an alternative to classical search engines, here the user needs a new type of system to satisfy his/her information need.



PhD Students


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