A system and method for facilitating decision-making comprising a computer program causing linkage of data representing a plurality of argument structure units into a hierarchical argument structure. Each argument structure unit comprises data corresponding to a hypothesis and its corresponding counter-hypothesis, data corresponding to grounds that provide a basis for inference of the hypothesis or its corresponding counter-hypothesis, data corresponding to a warrant linking the grounds to the hypothesis or its corresponding counter-hypothesis, and data corresponding to backing that certifies the warrant. The hierarchical argument structure comprises a top level argument structure unit and a plurality of subordinate level argument structure units. Each of the plurality of subordinate argument structure units comprises at least a portion of the grounds of the argument structure unit to which it is subordinate. Program code located on each of a plurality of remote computers accepts input from one of a plurality of contributors. Each input comprises data corresponding to an argument structure unit in the hierarchical argument structure and supports the hypothesis or its corresponding counter-hypothesis. A second programming code is adapted to combine the inputs into a single hierarchical argument structure. A third computer program code is responsive to the second computer program code and is adapted to represent a degree of support for the hypothesis and its corresponding counter-hypothesis in the single hierarchical argument structure.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in the invention.