Welcome to the ACL 2016 tutorial on NLP Approaches to Computational Argumentation.

Argumentation and debating represent primary intellectual activities of the human mind. People in all societies argue and debate, not only to convince others of their own opinions but also in order to explore the differences between multiple perspectives and conceptualizations, and to learn from this exploration.

The process of reaching a resolution on controversial topics typically does not follow a simple sequence of purely logical steps. Rather it involves a wide variety of complex and interwoven actions. Presumably, pros and cons are identified, considered, and weighed, via cognitive processes that often involve persuasion and emotions, which are inherently harder to formalize from a computational perspective.

This wide range of conceptual capabilities and activities, have only in part been studied in fields like CL and NLP, and typically within relatively small sub–communities that overlap the ACL audience. The new field of Computational Argumentation has very recently seen significant expansion within the CL and NLP community as new techniques and datasets start to become available, allowing for the first time investigation of the computational aspects of human argumentation in a holistic manner.

The main goal of this tutorial would be to introduce this rapidly evolving field to the CL community. Specifically, we will aim to review recent advances in the field and to outline the challenging research questions – that are most relevant to the ACL audience – that naturally arise when trying to model human argumentation.

We will further emphasize the practical value of this line of study, by considering real-world CL and NLP applications that are expected to emerge from this research, and to impact various industries, including legal, finance, healthcare, media, and education, to name just a few examples.

The first part of the tutorial will provide introduction to the basics of argumentation and rhetoric. Next, we will cover fundamental analysis tasks in Computational Argumentation, including argumentation mining, revealing argument relations, assessing arguments quality, the automatic analysis of emotions and bias in argumentation, and more. After the coffee break, we will first review existing resources and recently introduced benchmark data. In the following part we will cover basic synthesis tasks in Computational Argumentation, including the relation to NLG and dialogue systems, and the evolving area of Debate Technologies, defined as technologies developed directly to enhance, support, and engage with human debating. Finally, we will present relevant demos, re- view potential applications, and discuss the future of this emerging field.

The tutorial will be held during the morning of Sunday, 7 August 2016. You can register for the tutorial at the ACL registration page.



Finally, you might also be interested in the 3rd Workshop on Argument Mining, which will also be at ACL 2016 in Berlin and will run on Friday, 12 August 2016. More information can be found at http://argmining2016.arg.tech/