Towards a richer model of deliberation dialogue: closure problem and change of circumstances

Douglas Walton, Alice Toniolo*, Timothy J. Norman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Models of deliberative dialogue are fundamental for developing autonomous systems that support human practical reasoning. The question discussed in this paper is whether existing models are able to capture the complexity and richness of natural deliberation. In real-world contexts, circumstances relevant to the decision can change rapidly. We reflect on today's leading model of deliberation dialogue and we propose an extension to capture how newly exchanged information about changing circumstances may shape the dialogue.Moreover, in natural deliberation, a dialogue may be successful even if a decision on what to do has not been made. A set of criteria is proposed to address the problem of when to close off the practical reasoning phase of dialogue. We discuss some measures for evaluating the success of a dialogue after closure and we present some initial efforts to introduce the new deliberation features within an existing model of agent dialogue. We believe that our extended model of dialogue may contribute to representing that richness of natural deliberative dialogue that is yet to be addressed in existing models of agent deliberation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-173
Number of pages19
JournalArgument and Computation
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2016


  • Deliberative dialogue
  • Dialogue closure
  • Practical reasoning


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