Artificial Intelligence Review

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 169–222 | Cite as

Explanation and Argumentation Capabilities:Towards the Creation of More Persuasive Agents

  • B. Moulin
  • H. Irandoust
  • M. Bélanger
  • G. Desbordes


During the past two decades many research teams have worked on the enhancement of the explanation capabilities of knowledge-based systems and decision support systems. During the same period, other researchers have worked on the development of argumentative techniques for software systems. We think that it would be interesting for the researchers belonging to these different communities to share their experiences and to develop systems that take advantage of the advances gained in each domain.

We start by reviewing the evolution of explanation systems from the simple reasoning traces associated with early expert systems to recent research on interactive and collaborative explanations. We then discuss the characteristics of critiquing systems that test the credibility of the user's solution. The rest of the paper deals with the different application domains that use argumentative techniques. First, we discuss how argumentative reasoning can be captured by a general structure in which a given claim or conclusions inferred from a set of data and how this argument structure relates to pragmatic knowledge, explanation production and practical reasoning. We discuss the role of argument indefeasible reasoning and present some works in the new field of computer-mediated defeasibleargumentation. We review different application domains such as computer-mediated communication, design rationale, crisis management and knowledge management, in which argumentation support tools are used. We describe models in which arguments are associated to mental attitudes such as goals, plans and beliefs. We present recent advances in the application of argumentative techniques to multi-agent systems. Finally, we propose research perspectives for the integration of explanation and argumentation capabilities in knowledge-based systems and make suggestions for enhancing the argumentation and persuasion capabilities of software agents


Expert System Decision Support System MultiAgent System User Model Software Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Moulin
  • H. Irandoust
  • M. Bélanger
  • G. Desbordes

There are no affiliations available

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