OVA+: User Guide

OVA+ is an online tool for argument analysis. However, it differs from OVA in that it allows for the representation of the argumentative structure of dialogues.

NB: the features of OVA+ mostly rely on AIF2 (format) and IAT (illocutionary forces, transitions etc.)

1. Getting started

You can start using OVA+ by visiting its website at http://ova.arg-tech.org,  and clicking on ‘Analyse with OVA+’.

2. The OVA+ interface

The OVA+ user interface consists of two panes – the text pane, containing either a web page or a place to enter your own text, and the analysis pane, where you will perform your analysis. If you are analysing your own text, you should type or copy and paste it into the text pane before starting.

The toolbar has four buttons – “Add Node”, “Add Edge”, “Save Analysis” and “Load Analysis”. The link button in the top-right of the analysis pane generates a link that allows you to share the analysis.

3. Extracting Text / Creating Information Nodes

The core feature of OVA+ is the ability to extract text into a series of premises, which are then used to construct an argument diagram.

Doing this in OVA+ is very simple:

  1. When the page has loaded, identify a piece of text you wish to extract
  2. Highlight this text, then click on the white “canvas” in the OVA+ interface
  3. If you wish to make changes to the propositional content, double click on the node, type your text, and `Save changes’
  4. Repeat for all premises you wish to add

In the case of enthymemes, it is possible to create a node with the content of your choice: click on the ‘Add node’ button.

The software has been designed to safeguard against duplicate premises. That is, you cannot extract exactly the same piece of text twice by accident.

4. Creating Locution Nodes

  1. Double click on the I-node and select ‘Add locution’
  2. A connection should be established, with an ‘Illocutionary force node’ in the middle (YA)
  3. Double click on the YA-node to choose from the set of illocutionary forces proposed

5. Joining Propositions

In order to indicate support or attack, premises must be connected. This is done by the following procedure:

  1. Identify the premise you wish to be the supporter/attacker and hover your mouse cursor over it.
  2. Hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard, or click on the ‘Add edge’ button
  3. Click your mouse, but don’t release the button, or the SHIFT key
  4. Drag the cursor to the premise you wish to support/attack. You should see a black line being drawn to follow the drag of the cursor
  5. Release the mouse (and the SHIFT key) when over the premise and a connection should be established, with a “Scheme Node” in the middle (RA)

 

To create a linked argument (that is, an argument in which two or more premises work together to support or attack another):

  1. Establish the first link by the procedure above
  2. For the second premise, carry out steps 1 – 3 above
  3. Instead of dragging the cursor to the premise you wish to support/attack, drag it to the already created Scheme Node. The link will then be established to this, indicating a linked argument

 

To represent an undercutting argument:

  1. Click the `Add edge’ button twice: it should become red (showing conflict); alternatively, you can hold the A key on your keyboard;
  2. Click your mouse on the Information node (but don’t release the A key)
  3. Drag the cursor to the RA-node you wish to attack. You should see a black line being drawn to follow the drag of the cursor
  4. Release the mouse (and the A key) when over the RA-node and a connection should be established, with an CA-node in the middle

6. Setting Schemes

OVA+ has a number of built-in schemes, grouped by schemeset. By default, the scheme node is an RA (rule of inference). Double click on the RA-node and a popup box will appear with two drop-down menus:

  1. The top menu proposes to change the Scheme Node into a CA (conflict node) if you wish to indicate an attack
  2. The bottom menu contains the argument schemes; choose from the set of proposed and click `Save changes’
  3. The scheme will be applied to the argument

 7. Joining Locution Nodes

In order to indicate transitions between locutions, they must be connected. This is done by the following procedure:

  1. Identify the first locution you want to connect and hover your mouse cursor over it.
  2. Hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard, or click on the `Add edge’ button
  3. Click your mouse, but don’t release the button, or the SHIFT key
  4. Drag the cursor to the other locution. You should see a black line being drawn to follow the drag of the cursor
  5. Release the mouse (and the SHIFT key) when over the premise and a connection should be established, with a “Transition Node” in the middle (TA)

8. Joining Transition Nodes to Scheme Nodes

It is of interest to assign the illocutionary forces anchored in the transitions. This can be done thanks to the set of illocutionary forces that are proposed when a TA-node has been linked to its corresponding scheme-node:

  1. Identify the first TA-node you want to connect and hover your mouse cursor over it.
  2. Hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard, or click on the `Add edge’ button
  3. Click your mouse, but don’t release the button, or the SHIFT key
  4. Drag the cursor to the corresponding Scheme Node. You should see a black line being drawn to follow the drag of the cursor
  5. Release the mouse (and the SHIFT key) when over the premise and a connection should be established, with an “Indexical Illocutionary Force Node” in the middle (YA)
  6. Double click on the YA-node and choose from the set of illocutionary forces

9. Deleting Premises, Scheme Nodes, Locution Nodes

You can delete any premise or scheme node in your analysis by double clicking on it, and clicking “Delete Node”. Note that deleting an S-Node, a YA-node or a TA-node will delete any links that go through it.

10. Saving

Your analyses can be saved as images (.png files), or on the AIF2 format either locally or to the AIFdb Corpora (in a corpus created beforehand)

  • Saving to local file
  1. Click the `Save analysis’ button
  2. Choose `Save to local file’
  3. This file can then be loaded in OVA+ for retrieving

 

  • Saving as image
  1. Click the `Save analysis’ button
  2. Choose `Save as image’
  3. A new window opens with the image of your analysis
  4. Save it on the computer by using the Menu toolbar

 

  • Saving to AIFdb Corpora
  1. Click the `Save analysis’ button
  2. Choose `Save to AIFdb’
  3. Choose from the list in which corpus you want to save the analysis
  4. Click `Add’
  5. Your analysis is automatically saved in AIFdb and in the corpus you chose

11. Retrieving Analyses

You can load your previous analyses by clicking on `Load analysis’ and selecting the .txt file

12. Remarks

OVA+ supports LaTeX compilation, i.e.\latex{xxx} in the source text will render as LaTeX in the node. For example, \latex{$1+1$} will create a node with the content 1+1.