Theory and Practice of Logic Programming

Regular Papers

A parameterised hierarchy of argumentation semantics for extended logic programming and its application to the well-founded semantics

a1 Camtec Software GmbH, An den Treptowers 1, 12435 Berlin, Germany (e-mail:
a2 Department of Computer Science, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany (e-mail:,

Article author query
schweimeier r   [Google Scholar] 
schroeder m   [Google Scholar] 


Argumentation has proved a useful tool in defining formal semantics for assumption-based reasoning by viewing a proof as a process in which proponents and opponents attack each others arguments by undercuts (attack to an argument's premise) and rebuts (attack to an argument's conclusion). In this paper, we formulate a variety of notions of attack for extended logic programs from combinations of undercuts and rebuts and define a general hierarchy of argumentation semantics parameterised by the notions of attack chosen by proponent and opponent. We prove the equivalence and subset relationships between the semantics and examine some essential properties concerning consistency and the coherence principle, which relates default negation and explicit negation. Most significantly, we place existing semantics put forward in the literature in our hierarchy and identify a particular argumentation semantics for which we prove equivalence to the paraconsistent well-founded semantics with explicit negation, WFSX$_p$. Finally, we present a general proof theory, based on dialogue trees, and show that it is sound and complete with respect to the argumentation semantics.

Key Words: non-monotonic reasoning; extended logic programming; argumentation semantics; well-founded semantics with explicit negation.