Category:Dialog-based Online Argumentation

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Main author(s): Martin Mauve, Christian Meter, Tobias Krauthoff


A Dialog-based Online Argumentation System (DOAS) is a web-based application, that provides a way to let users investigate or participate in a structured argumentation in a step-by-step fashion. Its main characteristics are:

  • It uses web-technology to provide its services online.
  • Internally it uses a formal model to represent an argumentation. This typically includes at least formal models for arguments, positions and relations.
  • It leads the users through the argumentation in a step-by-step fashion, i.e. it provides a dialog between the system and the user. The user is not required to know of or learn about formal argumentation (models).

Optionally a DOAS may also have (some of) the following characteristics:

  • It may elicit the stances (agree, disagree, ...) of users towards the argumentation, possibly while imposing constraints on what a user may do next.
  • It may allow the user to add statements or other elements to the argumentation.
  • It may normatively evaluate the user's stance elicited so far by highlighting errors, inconsistences, tensions etc.

Theories and Results

None at this level - have a look at the Subcategories for more theories and results.


In order to understand the commonalities and differences between dialog-based online argumentation systems, we use the following criteria:

  • Argumentation model: What is the formal model of an argumentation used by the system internally?
  • Rationality assumptions: What is the underlying normative theory, what are the rationality constraints imposed on users (if any)?
  • Next step selection: How is the next step for the user interaction chosen?
  • User Actions: What actions can a user perform?
  • Dynamic Behaviour: Can the actions of one user change the behavior of the system towards another user?
  • Dynamic Content: Can one user add content (i.e., arguments) that are then integrated into the argumentation model and subsequently shown to another user?
  • Natural Behavior: Does the system seek to approximate the experience that a user would expect from a regular, real-world discussion?

Related Concepts

A Digital Dialogue Game also facilitates an argumentation between participants. However, there the focus is on a life interaction between participants in order to learn about either a subject or argumentation. Those systems do usually not support the joint creation of an argumentation or the evaluation of (parts of) an argumentation through the participants.