Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


Ways to Use Inconsistent Knowledge: Argumentation versus Merging

  • Speaker:   Dr  Antony Hunter  (University College London)
  • Host:   Uli Sattler
  • 23rd April 2008 at 14:15 in Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building
As inconsistencies frequently occur in information about the real-world, the development of inconsistency tolerance is an increasingly important issue. Examples of application problems arise in tasks including: Using information from heterogeneous sources; Negotiation in multi-agent systems; Understanding natural language dialogues; and Commonsense reasoning in robotics.

Often inconsistency is unwanted (e.g. in the specification for a plan, or in sensor fusion in robotics). But sometimes inconsistency is useful (e.g. when lawyers look for inconsistencies in an opposition case, or when tax inspectors look for inconsistencies in tax returns). In any case, inconsistency can be seen as a driver for finding a better understanding of an issue or topic (e.g. scientists use inconsistencies arising in the established knowledge, such as in published papers, or inconsistencies between established knowledge and new findings, as a driver for further research).

In this talk, I discuss the need and role for inconsistency tolerance, and then review two contrasting approaches to dealing with inconsistent information. The first is that of logic-based merging systems for combining conflicting information on a topic coming from multiple sources, and the second is that of logic-based argumentation systems for constructing and comparing arguments and counterarguments for a topic of interest. I will also discuss some applications that we are developing based on these approaches for the analysis of biomedical knowledge.
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