Faculty Notes

Prof. Vern Walker Publishes Paper on Argument Retrieval

Vern R. Walker, Professor of Law and Director of the Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology

Professor Vern R. Walker, along with Kevin D. Ashley, published “From Information Retrieval (IR) to Argument Retrieval (AR) for Legal Cases: Report on a Baseline Study,” in the Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2013), pp. 29-38, 2013.

The paper was also presented at the JURIX 2013 Conference, held in Bologna, Italy, December 11-13, 2013.

The paper addresses the problem that users of commercial legal information retrieval (IR) systems often really want argument retrieval (AR): retrieving not merely sentences with highlighted terms, but arguments and argument-related information.

Using a corpus of argument-annotated legal cases, the authors conducted a baseline study of current legal IR systems in responding to standard queries. They identify ways in which those current systems cannot meet the need for AR, and they illustrate how additional argument-relevant information could address some of those inadequacies.

They conclude by indicating their own approach to developing an AR system to retrieve arguments from legal decisions.

About the author


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