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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Connecting the Dots...

On Wed, 5 Mar 2003, Eric Armstrong wrote:    (01)

> Good, John. You've raised some good issues.
> I need an IBIS system to keep track of them
> all, and a few experts to weigh in on some
> of them.    (02)

To keep this discussion somewhat related to the theme of the list, I would
like to raise the problem of how to link arguments.  Let's say I have the
following arguments:    (03)

- Launching a war to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being used,
will result in exactly the opposite effect: (1) they will be used by
Hussain when he is with his back against the wall or (2) for revenge, will
be transferred to terrorist groups who can deliver them anywhere, anytime.    (04)

- I have an Iraqi colleague who went into exile in the Netherlands ten
years ago. He hasn't seen his family back home since. I asked him about
his opinion. Although regime change is what everybody desperately wants,
the instrument of war is wrong, in his eyes. It's going to create
unimaginable further suffering for the Iraqi population (and - forced -
draft military), while it is very unclear if anything substantial would
change afterwards. As I consider this victim of the regime a credible
source, his opinion counts heavily for me.    (05)

It is clear that these arguments are CON many of Eric's positions or
arguments. Yet at the same time, they could reinforce (PRO) many of John's
arguments, which themselves are CON Eric's.    (06)

Schematically:    (07)

I1 -> P1 + A1 - A3
         - A2 + A3
   -> P2 ...    (08)

I1 = "the issue of going to war with Iraq"
P1 = "let's do it!"
P2 = "forget it!"
A1 = "One of Eric's arguments in favour of P1"
A2 = "One of John's arguments against P1"
A3 = "One of my arguments against P1"    (09)

My questions:    (010)

- Arguments can often be linked PRO or CON only one other position or
argument in many IBIS methods and tools. Are there any IBIS approaches in
which a new argument node can be linked to multiple other positions or
arguments?    (011)

- If so, is this multiple linking ad hoc or systematic in the sense of
leaving it to the authors' initiative to create multiple links, or
guiding/forcing authors to decide on multiple possible links for their
argument? Can others than the authors themselves add new links?    (012)

- What criteria can be used to assess whether an argument should be
positioned to weaken an argument node with which it disagrees, or
strengthen an argument with which it is in line?    (013)

- Assume an argument can be linked to multiple other positions or argument
nodes. Follow-up discussion often originates from one thread to which the
node is linked, while it doesn't make sense from the perspective from
another thread of which this node is part. How to manage this complexity?    (014)

Cheers,    (015)

Aldo    (016)

  ---///     e-mail: ademoor@uvt.nl
IN|F/OLAB    phone +31-13-4662914/3020, fax +31-13-4663069
  |///       home page: http://infolab.uvt.nl/people/ademoor    (017)

Dr. Aldo de Moor
Infolab, Dept. of Information Systems and Management - Tilburg University
PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
==========================================================================    (018)