Self-Interested Agents and Abstract Argumentation
Speaker: Kate Larson
Since its introduction in the mid-nineties, Dung's theory of abstract
argumentation has been influential in AI as it serves as a convenient
model for reasoning about general characteristics of
argument. Arguments are viewed as abstract entities with a binary
defeat relationship between them. This has enabled extensive analysis
of different argument acceptance criteria (semantics). However, most
of this work ignores the fact that argumentation is often an
adversarial process involving self-interested agents who may have
conflicting preferences over the final status of arguments.
Recently, we have initiated the study of preferences and strategic
behaviour in abstract argumentation. First, using concepts from social
choice, we are able to discuss and compare the different abstract
argumentation semantics in terms of the social desirability of their
outcomes. Second, by introducing argumentation mechanism design, we
are able to present formal results and characterizations of strategic
behaviour in argumentation.
In this talk, I will provide a (gentle) introduction to abstract
argumentation. I will then cover some of our results pertaining to the
welfare properties of argumentation-based semantics. Finally, I will
explain how we are using ideas from mechanism design in order to
understand strategic behaviour in argumentation. I will conclude with
pointing out several open questions.
This is joint work with Iyad Rahwan.
Material from this talk appeared in AAMAS 2008, AAAI 2008, and