The Knowledge Engineering Review


Informal logic dialogue games in human–computer dialogue

Tangming Yuana1, David Moorea2, Chris Reeda3, Andrew Ravenscrofta4 and Nicolas Maudeta5

a1 Computer Science Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5AT, UK; e-mail:;

a2 School of Computing, Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University, Beckett Park, Leeds LS6 3QS, UK; e-mail:;

a3 School of Computing, College of Art, Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland; e-mail:;

a4 Learning Technology Research Institute (LTRI), Faculty of Art, Humanities, Language and Education, London Metropolitan University, London, E2 8AA, UK; e-mail:;

a5 LAMSADE Laboratory, University Paris 9 Dauphine, 75775 Paris Cedex 1, France; e-mail:


Informal logic (IL) is an area of philosophy rich in models of communication and discourse with a heavy focus on argument and ‘dialogue games’. Computational dialectics is a maturing strand of research that is focused on implementing these dialogue games. The aim of this paper is to review research on applying IL dialogue games into human–computer dialogue design. We argue that IL dialogue games tend to have a number of attractive properties for human computer dialogue and that their computational utilization in this area has been increasing recently. Despite the strength of the case for IL, a number of important barriers need to be overcome if the potential of IL is to be fulfilled. These barriers are examined and means of overcoming them discussed.

(Online publication May 12 2011)