[PlanetKR] PhD scholarship in Argument Mining available in Nice, France

Serena Villata villata at i3s.unice.fr
Wed Apr 27 18:24:51 EST 2016

We are looking for a PhD student to join the WIMMICS group (http://wimmics.inria.fr/ <http://wimmics.inria.fr/>), I3S Laboratory of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France.
The position is fully funded for students of any nationality.

TITLE: "Mining, Processing, and Reasoning over Textual Arguments" available 

Large amounts of text are added to the Web daily from social media, web-based commerce, scientific papers, eGovernment consultations, etc. Such texts are used to make decisions in the sense that people read the texts, carry out some informal analysis, and then (in the best case) make a decision; for example, a consumer might read the comments on an Amazon website about a camera before deciding what camera to buy. The problem is that the information is distributed, unstructured, and not cumulative. In addition, the argument structure - justifications for a claim and criticisms - might be implicit or explicit within some document, but harder to discern across documents. The sheer volume of information overwhelms users. Given all these problems, reasoning about arguments on the web is currently unfeasible.
A solution to these problems would be to develop tools to aggregate, synthesize, structure, summarize, and reason about arguments in texts. Such tools would enable users to search for particular topics and their justifications, trace through the argument (justifications for justifications and so on), as well as to systematically and formally reason about the graph of arguments. By doing so, a user would have a better, more systematic basis for making a decision. However, deep, manual analysis of texts is time-consuming, knowledge intensive, and thus unscalable. To acquire, generate, and transmit the arguments, we need scalable machine-based or machine-supported approaches to extract arguments. The application of tools to mine arguments would be very broad and deep given the variety of contexts where arguments appear and the purposes they are put to.

In this context, the goal of the Ph.D. is to address the following challenges:
i)  define algorithms for automatically identifying arguments in texts. The goal is to detect, at an abstract level, the argumentative structures in texts. In addition, challenges like the automated discrimination between argumentative and non-argumentative text units, and the identification of reused, but manipulated, arguments which convey a different meaning than what was intended by their source, will be addressed.
ii) propose intra-argument mining algorithms, to automatically detect the internal structure of arguments. The goal is to analyze and formalize the internal structure of the retrieved arguments, i.e., the identification of the relations that may hold between the arguments’ premises and conclusion, using e.g. the RTE (Recognizing Textual Entailment) framework.
iii) propose inter-argument mining algorithms, to automatically detect relations between arguments. The goal is to identify the relations between arguments, accounting for sophisticated relations like support, partial support, attack.

- Proceedings of the Workshop on Frontiers and Connections between Argumentation Theory and Natural Language Processing http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1341/ <http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1341/>
- Lippi, M., Torroni, P., Argumentation Mining: State of the Art and Emerging Trends, ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 2015.
- Cabrio, E., Villata, S.: A natural language bipolar argumentation approach to support users in online debate interactions†. Argument & Computation 4(3): 209-230 (2013)
- Available resources for Argument mining http://argumentationmining.disi.unibo.it/resources.html <http://argumentationmining.disi.unibo.it/resources.html>

	• Master degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering is required. 

	• Programming skills. 

	• Basic knowledge of logic (propositional, first order) is preferred. 

	• Basic knowledge of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning is preferred. 

	• Fluent English required, both oral and written. French is not mandatory. 

Please send a complete CV and a motivation letter to the following email address: villata at i3s.unice.fr <mailto:villata at i3s.unice.fr> ; elena.cabrio at unice.fr <mailto:elena.cabrio at unice.fr>
DEADLINE for submitting the application: May 15, 2016.


About WIMMICS - http://wimmics.inria.fr/ <http://wimmics.inria.fr/> 
Wimmics is a proposal for a joint research team between INRIA Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée and I3S (CNRS and University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis). The research fields of this team are graph-oriented knowledge representation, reasoning and operationalization to model and support actors, actions and interactions in web-based epistemic communities.
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