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A model for a motivational system grounded on value based abstract argumentation frameworks. Eugenio Di Tullio University of Bari Italy Floriana Grasso University of Liverpool UK. The problem. Digital interventions to promote healthy lifestyles

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a model for a motivational system grounded on value based abstract argumentation frameworks

A model for a motivational system grounded on value based abstract argumentation frameworks

Eugenio Di Tullio

University of Bari

Italy

Floriana Grasso

University of Liverpool

UK

the problem
The problem
  • Digital interventions to promote healthy lifestyles
  • More successful if grounded in robust behavioural theory
    • Variety of techniques to impact different stages of the planning process
    • Use of different styles of interaction
  • New insights from recent research areas in AI:
    • Persuasion technology
    • Argumentation Theory
argument computation
Argument & Computation
  • Over the last decade a core and autonomous discipline within AI, as opposed to permeating reasoning research
    • Emphasis on what persuades, not proofs
    • Hypothesis that the extent of acceptance is subjective, depending on the view of the audience
  • Crucial aspect within practical reasoning, as opposed to theoretical reasoning
    • Presumptive schemata
    • Embraced by recent research in MultiAgent Systems
application areas
Application areas
  • Multi-agent dialogue interactions
    • E.g. negotiation scenarios
  • Legal reasoning
    • E.g. tools to model and support case-based reasoning
  • Healthcare advice
    • E.g. changing attitudes to healthy eating
  • Medical treatment
    • E.g. automated argument over organ transplants
  • Finance
    • E.g. automated stock market exchanges/contract
directions of research
Directions of research
  • Abstract argument systems: formal exploitation of simple notions of “attack” and “defense”.
  • Logics for argumentation: formal models for automated reasoning.
  • Dialogue protocols: emphasis on the rules that should govern the argumentation process and the participants to it.
  • Argument schemes: stereotypical patterns for presumptive reasoning, fallacies.
abstract argumentation
Abstract Argumentation

An argumentation framework (AF) is a pair

F = (A, R) where

A is a set of arguments

R ⊆ A × A is a relation representing “attacks” or “defeats”.

Different semantics to establish which arguments are “in” and which are “out”.

motivational dialogues
Motivational dialogues
  • A subclass of argumentative dialogues
  • Main feature: a discussion around a behaviour, and the considerations of pros and cons of such behaviour
    • Can’t be based on “facts” only
    • Highly entrenched in the “value system” of the parties engaging in the discussion
    • There is no right or wrong answer – things change when perspectives change
example
Example

A1: You should exercise twice a week because it improves your health.

B2: Why is it good for my health?

A3: Because exercise improves your stamina.

B4: But then I might as well go to work by bike.

A5: No, exercising is better for your health.

B6: But exercise is boring.

A7: What is more important: your health or having fun?

B8: I find my health is more important. I guess I should exercise.

(from van der Weide et al 2010 “Practical Reasoning Using Values”)

practical reasoning on values and perspectives
Practical Reasoning on Values and Perspectives
  • Values: “desirable trans-situational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in the life of a person or other social entity”

Schwartz,S, Advances in experimental social psychology 25 (1992)

  • Value Based Argumentation Framework (VAF)

(Bench-Capon et al, Argumentation Research Group, University of Liverpool)

    • Tuple <AR, attack, V, val, P>
    • AR set of arguments; attacks relation on AR, V set of values, val function mapping from AR to V P set of possible audiences.
    • An argument relates to value v if accepting it promotes or defends v.
practical reasoning on values and perspectives ctd
Practical Reasoning on Values and Perspectives -ctd
  • Values are discussed in terms of what condition promotes or demotes them
    • E.g. treating people the same promotes the value of equality, exercising promotes the value of being healthy
  • Conditions and values can be promoted in degrees
    • Not exercising is not healthy, exercising once a month is healthier, once a week is healthier still
  • Perspective: preorder on states representing a “topic” for discussion (e.g. health, fun)
practical reasoning on values and perspectives ctd1
Practical Reasoning on Values and Perspectives -ctd
  • Perspectives can positively or negatively influence other perspectives forming chains
    • (E.g. health positively influence wellbeing)
  • When an agent has a “preference” over a perspective, this perspective becomes a “value”
    • used as a “guiding principle” by the agent
    • agent will try to reach as state maximally preferred from that perspective
example1
Example

(from van der Weide et al 2010 “Practical Reasoning Using Values”)

Health, Fun and Conformity perspectives are also values

Exercise perspective is not a value, but influences values

motivational system
Motivational System
  • Ultimate aim:
    • Build an environment for digital interventions, based on motivational dialogues
    • Authoring tools for creating user profiling, communication plans/strategies, styles of interaction
    • Mobile technology to acquire user’s preferences and lifestyles
    • Centred around the notion of “Value System”
prototype implementation
Prototype implementation
  • A prototype built on top of Aspic (Argumentation Service Platform with Integrated Components- 6FP - Opensource)
    • A platform to manage argumentation dialogues, which also provides services like reasoning, decision-making, learning.
  • Concentrates on the managing of the value system and the practical reasoning on perspectives
    • Left aside: user’s profiling and behavioural strategy implementation
managing values
Managing values
  • Two value systems are maintained
    • For the user and for “the system”
    • Typical for dialogue systems representing “mutual” beliefs
  • Interaction driven by a plan or “strategy” based on the user’s behavioural profiling (e.g. Transtheoretical model)
    • E.g. topic of discussion based on the stage of change
  • System attempts to “utilise” user’s own beliefs and value system to maximise motivation impact
example2
Example
  • The system contains the states:
    • Eating junk food less than 4 times a month;
    • Eating junk food between 4 and 8 times a month;
    • Eating junk food more than 8 times a month
  • And the perspectives to evaluate the states are Healthy eating; Fitness; Health; Social life
  • Initial value systems are:
evaluation of transition a
Evaluation of Transition A
  • System attempts to make user “aware” of influences which could impact the evaluation of transition A
new evaluation of a
New evaluation of A

New connections

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Preliminary work towards an argumentation based motivational system
  • Attempt to combine insights from argumentation theory and behavioural theories
  • Still prototypical: need to include more reliable user model and full blown communication strategies
  • Adherence to standards (e.g. Aspic) looks beneficial in terms of cross-discipline evaluation