Debela Tesfaye joins ARG-tech

Posted by chris on April 25, 2017

We are delighted to welcome Debela Tesfaye to the ARG-tech team. Debela joins us from the University of Addis Ababa where he worked remotely with Michael Zock and others on meronyms, synonyms and other syntactic and semantic relations. He will be working as a PhD student on the topic of argument mining.

XCI 2017: Explainable Computational Intelligence

Posted by chris on March 30, 2017

Martin Pereira Farina and Chris Reed are organising a workshop on explainable computational intelligence that aims to connect natural language generation, fuzzy systems and previously impenetrable AI systems that are typically seen only as black boxes.

The XCI2017 workshop will be held at INLG 2017 in Santiago de Compostela on 4 September 2017 and the deadline for submissions is 2 June 2017.

Randy Harris visiting

Posted by chris on March 22, 2017

We’re delighted to welcome Prof. Randy Harris from the University of Waterloo who is co-leading one of the foremost groups in computational rhetoric, RhetFIg. Randy will be delivering a talk on Thursday, 23rd March at 10am in the lab (QMB2.15), entitled “Chiastic figures and how they argue”. All welcome as usual.

Two new projects awarded

Posted by chris on December 8, 2016

In a week of good news, funding has just been announced for two new projects in ARG-tech. €290k has been awarded to the group by the VW foundation for a collaboration with the University of Konstanz to fund the appointment of Brian Pluss under the guidance of Katarzyna Budzynska and Chris Reed to work on Augmented Deliberative Democracy (ADD-up). Alison Pease has secured a further £125k from EPSRC for a project on Example-driven machine-human collaboration in mathematics. The project aims to develop mixed-initiative mathematics in which multiple parties, both human and machine, collaborate in order to produce novel research mathematics. Both projects will start in 2017.

Rory Duthie wins Best Paper at COMMA

Posted by chris on September 16, 2016

We are delighted to report that Rory Duthie has been awarded Best Student Paper Prize at the 6th International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA 2016) in Potsdam. Rory has just started the second year of his PhD under the supervision of Katarzyna Budzynska, and was awarded the prize for his paper, Mining Ethos in Political Debate.

Argumentation and ARG-tech in New Scientist

Posted by chris on September 15, 2016

In a great bit of profile-raising for the research areas of computational models of argument and argument mining, the British popular science magazine, New Scientist, has a feature on the topic in its current issue. The article includes some description of our work with IBM and with the BBC Moral Maze data. In addition, the feature is further highlighted by a leader article.

ARG-tech at COMMA

Posted by chris on September 12, 2016

The Centre for Argument Technology is delighted to again have a strong showing at the Conference on Computational Models of Argument. This is the 6th edition of the biennial COMMA and is being hosted in Potsdam this week.


Members of the Centre have contributed to a total of four papers at the conference:

  • Duthie, R., Budynska, K & Reed, C.A. (2016) “Mining Ethos in Political Debate”
  • Janier, M., Snaith, M., Budzynska, K., Lawrence, J. & Reed, C.A. (2016) “A System for Dispute Mediation: The Mediation Dialogue Game”
  • Lawrence, J. & Reed, C.A. (2016) “Argment Mining using Argumentation Scheme Structures”
  • Lawrence, J., Duthie, R. Budzysnka, K. & Reed, C.A. (2016) “Argument Analytics”

In addition we have two further papers in the COMMA workshop on Foundations of the Language of Argumentation:

  • Koszowy, M. & Budzynska, K. (2016) “Towards a Model for Ethotic Structures in Dialogical Context”
  • Konat, B., Budzynska, K. & Saint-Dizier, P. (2016) “Rephrase in Argument Structure”

Finally, Kasia Budzynska is also delivering a keynote at the COMMA Summer School on Argumentation:

  • Budzynska, K. “Arguments and Ethos in Dialogical Context”

We look forward to seeing you there.

Chrysanne Di Marco visiting this week

Posted by chris on August 29, 2016

We are delighted to welcome Prof. Chrysanne Di Marco from the University of Waterloo in Canada who is visiting us for the week. In addition to various meetings to explore links between ARG-tech and the Computational Rhetoric group at Waterloo, Chrysanne will also be giving a talk in the ARG lab this Thursday (1 September) afternoon, 2pm-4pm.

Prakash Poudyal visiting this week

Posted by chris on August 15, 2016

We are delighted to welcome Prakash Poudyal who is visiting us for the week to learn more about techniques for argument mining. Prakash comes to us from the University of Evora in Portugal, where he is an ERASMUS Mundus student.

PhD Studentship Available in Argument Mining

Posted by chris on July 7, 2016

RCUK Stipend (£14,296 tax-free per annum in 2016/17).

Fixed Term 42 months.

Applications are invited for a PhD student to work in the interdisciplinary area lying between computational linguistics and argumentation. The studentship aims to explore techniques in computational linguistics, text mining and deep learning to exploit theories of argument structure and classical rhetoric in order to automatically identify human reasoning in unconstrained natural language texts. Because of the team’s current research with IBM, the research conducted as a part of this PhD studentship will also be able to make use of Bluemix and Watson components.

Argument Mining – automatically extracting the structure of reasoning from text – is an exciting and rapidly expanding area of computational linguistics and text analytics. In 2013, there were only a handful of papers in the area; since then, there have been a range of specialised international events, including a new annual workshop series, hundreds of papers, and dozens of research groups around the world gearing up to tackle the problem. The Centre for Argument Technology is playing a significant role in this field, providing not only theoretical advances but also some of the most widely used software tools and datasets.

The PhD student will be able to explore theories of argument structure from linguistic and computational perspectives with a view to automatically extracting such structure. The work will involve working in one or more application domains, and could involve working with  commercial partners.

A basic understanding of linguistics or computational linguistics would be a significant advantage, whilst exposure to theories of reasoning, argument or critical thinking would be a benefit. Candidates would typically be expected to have, or be on track for, a first class honours degree or equivalent, or a distinction at Masters level.

The post will be held in the Centre for Argument Technology in the School of Science & Engineering at the University of Dundee. At the most recent REF, research in the discipline of Computer Science was rated third in Scotland, with 79% of its research rated world-leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*). Dundee has been ranked amongst the top places in the world for scientists to work (The Scientist), and has one of the lowest costs of living in the UK.

Though candidates of any nationality may apply, the post only includes fees at Home/EU level, so fees would be levied by the University on students who do not meet the definition of Home/EU students.

The starting date for the 42-month PhD studentship is negotiable.

More information is available from the research group web site at, and applicants should apply by sending a CV and covering letter to Prof. Chris Reed. Closing date for applications is 31 August 2016.