We provide a retrospective of 25 years of the International Conference on AI and Law, which was first held in 1987. Fifty papers have been selected from the thirteen conferences and each of them is described in a short subsection individually written by one of the 24 authors. These subsections attempt to place the paper discussed in the context of the development of AI and Law, while often offering some personal reactions and reflections. As a whole, the subsections build into (...) a history of the last quarter century of the field, and provide some insights into where it has come from, where it is now, and where it might go. (shrink)
In this paper we propose an extension of Defeasible Logic to represent and compute different concepts of defeasible permission. In particular, we discuss some types of explicit permissive norms that work as exceptions to opposite obligations or encode permissive rights. Moreover, we show how strong permissions can be represented both with, and without introducing a new consequence relation for inferring conclusions from explicit permissive norms. Finally, we illustrate how a preference operator applicable to contrary-to-duty obligations can be combined with a (...) new operator representing ordered sequences of strong permissions. The logical system is studied from a computational standpoint and is shown to have linear computational complexity. (shrink)
The first issue of _Artificial Intelligence and Law_ journal was published in 1992. This paper provides commentaries on landmark papers from the first decade of that journal. The topics discussed include reasoning with cases, argumentation, normative reasoning, dialogue, representing legal knowledge and neural networks.
In this paper we investigate how to represent and reason about legal abrogations and annulments in Defeasible Logic. We examine some options that embed in this setting, and in similar rule-based systems, ideas from belief and base revision. In both cases, our conclusion is negative, which suggests to adopt a different logical model. This model expresses temporal aspects of legal rules, and distinguishes between two main timelines, one internal to a given temporal version of the legal system, and another relative (...) to how the legal system evolves over time. Accordingly, we propose a temporal extension of Defeasible Logic suitable to express this model and to capture abrogation and annulment. We show that the proposed framework overcomes the difficulties discussed in regard to belief and base revision, and is sufficiently flexible to represent many of the subtleties characterizing legal abrogations and annulments. (shrink)
This paper provides an analysis of how concepts pertinent to legal contracts can influence certain aspects of their digital implementation through smart contracts, as inspired by recent developments in distributed ledger technology. We discuss how properties of imperative and declarative languages including the underlying architectures to support contract management and lifecycle apply to various aspects of legal contracts. We then address these properties in the context of several blockchain architectures. While imperative languages are commonly used to implement smart contracts, we (...) find that declarative languages provide more natural ways to deal with certain aspects of legal contracts and their automated management. (shrink)
Safety-critical systems manufacturers have the duty of care, i.e., they should take correct steps while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others. Commonly, industry standards prescribe reasonable steps in their process requirements, which regulatory bodies trust. Manufacturers perform careful documentation of compliance with each requirement to show that they act under acceptable criteria. To facilitate this task, a safety-centered planning-time framework, called ACCEPT, has been proposed. Based on compliance-by-design, ACCEPT capabilities permit to design Compliance-aware Engineering Process Plans, which are able (...) to show the planning-time allocation of standard demands, i.e., if the elements set down by the standard requirements are present at given points in the engineering process plan. In this paper, we perform a case study to understand if the ACCEPT produced models could support the planning of space software engineering processes. Space software is safety and mission-critical, and it is often the result of industrial cooperation. Such cooperation is coordinated through compliance with relevant standards. In the European context, ECSS-E-ST-40C is the de-facto standard for space software production. The planning of processes in compliance with project-specific ECSS-E-ST-40C applicable requirements is mandatory during contractual agreements. Our analysis is based on qualitative criteria targeting the effort dictated by task demands required to create a CaEPP for software development with ACCEPT. Initial observations show that the effort required to model compliance and processes artifacts is significant. However, such an effort pays off in the long term since models are, to some extend, reusable and flexible. The coverage level of the models is also analyzed based on design decisions. In our opinion, such a level is adequate since it responds to the information needs required by the ECSS-E-ST-40C framework. (shrink)
In this paper we show that the Hilbert system of agency and ability presented by Dag Elgesem is incomplete with respect to the intended semantics. We argue that completeness result may be easily regained. Finally, we shortly discuss some issues related to the philosophical intuition behind his approach. This is done by examining Elgesem's modal logic of agency and ability using semantics with different flavours.
Automated Vehicles (AVs) are designed and programmed to follow traffic rules. However, there is no separate and comprehensive regulatory framework dedicated to AVs. The current Queensland traffic rules were designed for humans. These rules often contain open texture expressions, exceptions, and potential conflicts (conflict arises when exceptions cannot be handled in rules), which makes it hard for AVs to follow. This paper presents an automatic compliance checking framework to assess AVs behaviour against current traffic rules by addressing these issues. Specifically, (...) it proposes a framework to determine which traffic rules and open texture expressions need some additional interpretation. Essentially this enables AVs to have a suitable and executable formalization of the traffic rules. Defeasible Deontic Logic (DDL) is used to formalize traffic rules and reasoning with AV information (behaviour and environment). The representation of rules in DDL helps effectively in handling and resolving exceptions, potential conflicts, and open textures in rules. 40 experiments were conducted on eight realistic traffic scenarios to evaluate the framework. The evaluation was undertaken both quantitatively and qualitatively. The evaluation result shows that the proposed framework is a promising system for checking Automated Vehicle interpretation and compliance with current traffic rules. (shrink)
Decision-makers in governments, enterprises, businesses and agencies or individuals, typically, make decisions according to various regulations, guidelines and policies based on existing records stored in various databases, in particular, relational databases. To assist decision-makers, an expert system, encompasses interactive computer-based systems or subsystems to support the decision-making process. Typically, most expert systems are built on top of transaction systems, databases, and data models and restricted in decision-making to the analysis, processing and presenting data and information, and they do not provide (...) support for the normative layer. This paper will provide a solution to one specific problem that arises from this situation, namely the lack of tool/mechanism to demonstrate how an expert system is well-suited for supporting decision-making activities drawn from existing records and relevant legal requirements aligned existing records stored in various databases.We present a Rule-based reporting systems architecture, which is intended to integrate databases, in particular, relational databases, with a logic-based reasoner and rule engine to assist in decision-making or create reports according to legal norms. We argue that the resulting RuleRS provides an efficient and flexible solution to the problem at hand using defeasible inference. To this end, we have also conducted empirical evaluations of RuleRS performance. (shrink)
In this paper we present a Gentzen system for reasoning with contrary-to-duty obligations. The intuition behind the system is that a contrary-to-duty is a special kind of normative exception. The logical machinery to formalise this idea is taken from substructural logics and it is based on the definition of a new non-classical connective capturing the notion of reparational obligation. Then the system is tested against well-known contrary-to-duty paradoxes.
This paper arose out of the 2017 international conference on AI and law doctoral consortium. There were five students who presented their Ph.D. work, and each of them has contributed a section to this paper. The paper offers a view of what topics are currently engaging students, and shows the diversity of their interests and influences.
This paper presents a belief revision operator that considers time intervals for modelling norm change in the law. This approach relates techniques from belief revision formalisms and time intervals with temporalised rules for legal systems. Our goal is to formalise a temporalised belief base and corresponding timed derivation, together with a proper revision operator. This operator may remove rules when needed or adapt intervals of time when contradictory norms are added in the system. For the operator, both constructive definition and (...) an axiomatic characterisation by representation theorems are given. (shrink)
In this paper we provide a formal analysis of the idea of normative co-ordination. We argue that this idea is based on the assumption that agents can achieve flexible co-ordination by conferring normative positions to other agents. These positions include duties, permissions, and powers. In particular, we explain the idea of declarative power, which consists in the capacity of the power-holder of creating normative positions, involving other agents, simply by proclaiming such positions. In addition, we account also for the concepts (...) of representation, namely the representatives capacity of acting in the name of his principal, and of mandate, which is the mandatees duty to act as the mandator has requested. Finally, we show how the framework can be applied to represent the contract-net protocol. Some brief remarks on future research and applications conclude this contribution. (shrink)
In this paper we show how defeasible logic could formally account for the non-monotonic properties involved in motivational attitudes like intention and obligation. Usually, normal modal operators are used to represent such attitudes wherein classical logical consequence and the rule of necessitation comes into play, i.e., ⊢A/⊢ □A, that is from ⊢A derive ⊢ □A. This means that such formalisms are affected by the Logical Omniscience problem. We show that policy-based intentions exhibit non-monotonic behaviour which could be captured through a (...) non-monotonic system like defeasible logic. To this end we outline a defeasible logic of intention that specifies how modalities can be introduced and manipulated in a non-monotonic setting without giving rise to the problem of logical omniscience. In a similar way we show how to add deontic modalities defeasibly and how to integrate them with other motivational attitudes like beliefs and goals. Finally we show that the basic aspect of the BOID architecture is captured by this extended framework. (shrink)
The effectiveness of a compliance management framework can be guaranteed only if the framework is based on sound conceptual and formal foundations. In particular, the formal language used in the CMF is able to expressively represent the specifications of normative requirements that impose constraints on various activities of a business process. However, if the language used lacks expressiveness and the modelling constructs proposed in the CMF are not able to properly represent different types of norms, it can significantly impede the (...) reliability of the compliance results produced by the CMF. This paper investigates whether existing CMFs are able to provide reasoning and modeling support for various types of normative requirements by evaluating the conceptual foundations of the modeling constructs that existing CMFs use to represent a specific type of norm. The evaluation results portray somewhat a bleak picture of the state-of-the-affairs when it comes to represent norms as none of the existing CMFs is able to provide a comprehensive reasoning and modeling support. Also, it points to the shortcomings of the CMFs and emphasises exigent need of new modeling languages with sound theoretical and formal foundations for representing legal norms. (shrink)
This paper provides a computational framework, based on defeasible logic, to capture some aspects of institutional agency. Our background is Kanger-Lindahl-Pörn account of organised interaction, which describes this interaction within a multi-modal logical setting. This work focuses in particular on the notions of counts-as link and on those of attempt and of personal and direct action to realise states of affairs. We show how standard defeasible logic (DL) can be extended to represent these concepts: the resulting system preserves some basic (...) properties commonly attributed to them. In addition, the framework enjoys nice computational properties, as it turns out that the extension of any theory can be computed in time linear to the size of the theory itself. (shrink)
This paper analyses and compares some of the automated reasoners that have been used in recent research for compliance checking. Although the list of the considered reasoners is not exhaustive, we believe that our analysis is representative enough to take stock of the current state of the art in the topic. We are interested here in formalizations at the _first-order_ level. Past literature on normative reasoning mostly focuses on the _propositional_ level. However, the propositional level is of little usefulness for (...) concrete LegalTech applications, in which compliance checking must be enforced on (large) sets of individuals. Furthermore, we are interested in technologies that are _freely available_ and that can be further investigated and compared by the scientific community. In other words, this paper does not consider technologies only employed in industry and/or whose source code is non-accessible. This paper formalizes a selected use case in the considered reasoners and compares the implementations, also in terms of simulations with respect to shared synthetic datasets. The comparison will highlight that lot of further research still needs to be done to integrate the benefits featured by the different reasoners into a single standardized first-order framework, suitable for LegalTech applications. All source codes are freely available at https://github.com/liviorobaldo/compliancecheckers, together with instructions to locally reproduce the simulations. (shrink)
This article proposes an innovative methodology for enhancing the technical validation, legal alignment and interdisciplinarity of attempts to encode legislation. In the context of an experiment that examines how different legally trained participants convert select provisions of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) into machine-executable code, we find that a combination of manual and automated methods for coding validation, which focus on formal adherence to programming languages and conventions, can significantly increase the similarity of encoded rules between coders. Participants nonetheless (...) encountered various interpretive difficulties, including syntactic ambiguity, and intra- and intertextuality, which necessitated legal evaluation, as distinct from and in addition to coding validation. Many of these difficulties can be resolved through what we call a process of ‘legal alignment’ that aims to enhance the congruence between encoded provisions and the true meaning of a statute as determined by the courts. However, some difficulties cannot be overcome in advance, such as factual indeterminacy. Given the inherently interdisciplinary nature of encoding legislation, we argue that it is desirable for ‘rules as code’ (‘RaC’) initiatives to have, at a minimum, legal subject matter, statutory interpretation and technical programming expertise. Overall, we contend that technical validation, legal alignment and interdisciplinary teamwork are integral to the success of attempts to encode legislation. While legal alignment processes will vary depending on jurisdictionally-specific principles and practices of statutory interpretation, the technical and interdisciplinary components of our methodology are transferable across regulatory contexts, bodies of law and Commonwealth and other jurisdictions. (shrink)
Recent years have yielded many discussions on how to endow autonomous agents with the ability to make ethical decisions, and the need for explicit ethical reasoning and transparency is a persistent theme in this literature. We present a modular and transparent approach to equip autonomous agents with the ability to comply with ethical prescriptions, while still enacting pre-learned optimal behaviour. Our approach relies on a normative supervisor module, that integrates a theorem prover for defeasible deontic logic within the control loop (...) of a reinforcement learning agent. The supervisor operates as both an event recorder and an on-the-fly compliance checker w.r.t. an external norm base. We successfully evaluated our approach with several tests using variations of the game Pac-Man, subject to a variety of “ethical” constraints. (shrink)
Online social networks captured the attention of the masses by offering attractive means of sharing personal information and developing social relationships. People expose personal information about their lives on OSNs. This may result in undesirable consequences of users’ personal information leakage to an unwanted audience and raises privacy concerns. The issue of privacy has received a significant attention in both the research literature and the mainstream media. In this paper, we present results of an empirical study that measure users’ attitude (...) towards interpersonal privacy concerns in OSNs. The results demonstrated a serious mismatch between privacy concerns of users and their information sharing behavior. In addition, it indicated that strangers are part of user social circles, this makes privacy protection more complicated, and introduce an insider threat, whereas all existing privacy tools allow users to manage the outsider threat. Information and friend segregation strategies are suggested on the basis of user information disclosure and interaction pattern. We conclude that sensitivity of information and frequency of interaction, both, play a vital role in information and friend segregation. (shrink)
During his philosophical career Karl Popper sought to characterize natural laws alternately as strictly universal and as 'naturally' or 'physically' necessary statements. In this paper we argue that neither characterization does what Popper claimed and sketch a reconstruction of his views that avoids some of their major drawbacks.
Since e-Commerce has become a discipline, e-Contracts are acknowledged as the tools that will assure the safety and robustness of the transactions. A typical e-Contract is a binding agreement between parties that creates relations and obligations. It consists of clauses that address specific tasks of the overall procedure which can be represented as workflows. Similarly to e-Contracts, Intelligent Agents manage a private policy, a set of rules representing requirements, obligations and restrictions, additionally to personal data that meet their user’s interests. (...) In this context, this study aims at proposing a policy-based e-Contract workflow management methodology that can be used by semantic web agents, since agents benefit from Semantic Web technologies for data and policy exchanges, such as RDF and RuleML that maximize interoperability among parties. Furthermore, this study presents the integration of the above methodology into a multi-agent knowledge-based framework in order to deal with issues related to rules exchange where no common syntax is used, since this framework provides reasoning services that assist agents in interpreting the exchanged policies. Finally, a B2C e-Commerce scenario is presented that demonstrates the added value of the approach. (shrink)
Most of the theories on formalising intention interpret it as a unary modal operator in Kripkean semantics, which gives it a monotonic look. We argue that policy-based intentions exhibit non-monotonic behaviour which could be captured through a non-monotonic system like defeasible logic. To this end we outline a defeasible logic of intention. The proposed technique alleviates most of the problems related to logical omniscience. The proof theory given shows how our approach helps in the maintenance of intention-consistency in agent systems (...) like BDI. (shrink)
This paper presents an approach for legal compliance checking in the Semantic Web which can be effectively applied for applications in the Linked Open Data environment. It is based on modeling deontic norms in terms of ontology classes and ontology property restrictions. It is also shown how this approach can handle norm defeasibility. Such methodology is implemented by decidable fragments of OWL 2, while legal reasoning is carried out by available decidable reasoners. The approach is generalised by presenting patterns for (...) modeling deontic norms and norms compliance checking. (shrink)