I am an academic who is interested in how people reason, how this reasoning can be captured in formal models and how it can be supported and improved using smart technologies. My main areas of investigation are the computational, philosophical and linguistic aspects of argumentation, linking mathematical models with more natural representations of argument and discourse.

In addition to working on argumentation theory, I am also keen to improve argumentation practice by developing tools that can be used to disseminate and analyse complex reasoning involving lots of data. Examples of application areas are legal & forensic reasoning and opinions on the Web.

I am currently working at the Department of Information and Computing Science of Utrecht University and the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) of the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Causal stories and evidential arguments

I have developed a formal theory that tells judges and police investigators how they can analyse and communicate their reasoning about a case using arguments and stories. This hybrid theory of arguments and stories has been published in book and in journal form.

In more recent work I have been looking at further integrating them into a single dialectical theory (ICAIL 2015 paper). Furthermore, I am investigating the connections between stories, arguments and Bayesian Networks (see our COMMA 2016 paper on how arguments can enforce constraints on a BNs and this LPR article for an overview of the different approaches). I am also exploring how the hybrid theory can be applied in domains beside criminal law, such as risk assessment (EISIC paper) and decision making in asylum cases (IL article).

National Police Lab AI

The National Police Lab AI is a collaborative initiative of the Netherlands National Police, Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. Together we aim to develop state-of-the-art AI techniques to improve the safety in the Netherlands in a socially, legally and ethically responsible way. Please see the Police Lab AI webpage for more general information, and check Utrecht Police Lab AI webpage for more information on the projects we have in Utrecht.

The Argument Web

The Argument Web is technology engineered into the heart of the Web to encourage debate and facilitate good argument online. Using Semantic Web technology, the Argument Web makes the linked arguments and opinions across the Web searchable, navigable and extendible with a variety of tools, such as OVA for argument annotation, Arvina for engaging with the Argument Web through dialogue, the AIFdb search interface for searching the Argument Web, and the Argublogging tool for connecting to the Argument Web through blogging.

More information about the Argument Web and its accompanying tools can be found on the Argument Interchange website, and in recent papers in Communications of the ACM and the Journal of Web Semantics.