Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 64–102 | Cite as

On judgment aggregation in abstract argumentation

  • Martin Caminada
  • Gabriella Pigozzi


Judgment aggregation is a field in which individuals are required to vote for or against a certain decision (the conclusion) while providing reasons for their choice. The reasons and the conclusion are logically connected propositions. The problem is how a collective judgment on logically interconnected propositions can be defined from individual judgments on the same propositions. It turns out that, despite the fact that the individuals are logically consistent, the aggregation of their judgments may lead to an inconsistent group outcome, where the reasons do not support the conclusion. However, in this paper we claim that collective irrationality should not be the only worry of judgment aggregation. For example, judgment aggregation would not reject a consistent combination of reasons and conclusion that no member voted for. In our view this may not be a desirable solution. This motivates our research about when a social outcome is ‘compatible’ with the individuals’ judgments. The key notion that we want to capture is that any individual member has to be able to defend the collective decision. This is guaranteed when the group outcome is compatible with its members views. Judgment aggregation problems are usually studied using classical propositional logic. However, for our analysis we use an argumentation approach to judgment aggregation problems. Indeed the question of how individual evaluations can be combined into a collective one can also be addressed in abstract argumentation. We introduce three aggregation operators that satisfy the condition above, and we offer two definitions of compatibility. Not only does our proposal satisfy a good number of standard judgment aggregation postulates, but it also avoids the problem of individual members of a group having to become committed to a group judgment that is in conflict with their own individual positions.


Judgment aggregation Discursive dilemma Argumentation Group decision making 


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© The Author(s) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Individual and Collective Reasoning, Computer Science and CommunicationUniversity of LuxembourgLuxembourg CityLuxembourg

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