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SEAS: Structured Evidential Argumentation System

SEAS: Structured Evidential Argumentation System  Point of Contact:  Dr John D Lowrance

Mailing address:
AI Center
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493

Home page at http://www.ai.sri.com/~seas

   Software Description

The survival of an enterprise often rests upon its ability to make correct and timely decisions, despite the complexity and uncertainty of the environment. Because of the difficulty of employing formal methods in this context, decision makers typically resort to informal methods, sacrificing structure and rigor. SEAS encorporate a new methodology that retains the ease-of-use, familiarity, and (some of) the free-form nature of informal methods, while benefiting from the rigor, structure, and potential for automation characteristic of formal methods. SEAS aims to foster thoughtful and timely analysis through the introduction of structure, and collaboration through access to current and past analytic results. By recording analystsÂ’ thinking in structured arguments, the results are more comprehensive, more readily understood, and more easily compared. By providing access to a corporate memory of analytic methods and results, analysts can work together on common arguments and leverage historical results. The structured argumentation methodology encourages a careful analysis, by reminding the analyst of the full spectrum of indicators to be considered. It also eases argument comprehension by allowing the analyst or decision maker to "drill down" along the component lines of reasoning to discover the basis and rationale of othersÂ’ arguments, and it invites and facilitates argument comparison by framing arguments within common structures.

   Developers

Name Title E-mail
Boyce, Thomas A Director of Knowledge Development
Harrison, Ian W Alumnus
Lowrance, John D Program Director
Murdock, Janet Computer Scientist
Rodriguez, Andres C Computer Scientist
Yeh, Eric Software Engineer

   Associated Projects
Genoa

Genoa: The Structured Evidential Argumentation System
Under this effort, we developed the concept of structured argumentation applied to intelligence analysis, a corporate memory of structured arguments that accumulates over time constituting an historic record of anlytic thinking, and an asynchronous collaborative environemnt for collective reasoning.

HARP

HARP: Human Augmented Reasoning through Patterning
This project developed: 1) cognitive aids that allow humans and machines to "think together" in real-time about complicated problems; 2) techniques to overcome the biases and limitations of the human cognitive system; 3) "cognitive amplifiers" that help teams of people rapidly and fully comprehend complicated and uncertain situations; and, 4) the means to rapidly and seamlessly cut across and complement existing hierarchical organizational structures.

PRIME

PRIME: A Predictive Model Development Environment
The goal was to develop PRIME, an effects-based modelling tool, as a web application. PRIME supports rapid, collaborative development of forecasts of the effects of a planned set of DIME (diplomatic, informational, military, or economic) actions.

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