Computational Argumentation Seminar

General Information

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Benno Stein
Advisors: Dr. Henning Wachsmuth, Yamen Ajjour
Workload: 3 ECTS (master CSM, HCI, CS4DM, DE)
Kick-off meeting: 2017-10-11 at 11:00
Regular sessions: Wednesdays at 11:00
Place: Bauhausstraße 11, Room 015


Argumentation is an integral part of both professional and everyday communication. Whenever a topic or question is subject to controversy, people consider arguments to form opinions, to make decisions, or to convince others of a certain stance. In the last years, the computational analysis and synthesis of natural language argumentation has become an emerging research area, due to its importance for the next generation of web search engines and intelligent personal assistants.

In this master seminar, students will learn about basic and state-of-the-art research in computational argumentation, ranging from the mining of arguments from natural language text over the assessment of argumentation quality to the retrieval of arguments in web search.


The seminar starts with an introduction to the basics of computational argumentation and the main research topics in the field the Webis group is working on. Later on, each student chooses a focused research topic from the field, gives a short and a long talk on the topic, and summarizes the topic in a scientific paper-like article. The short talk should give an outline of the topic, while the long talk should go into depth and discuss the topic in details. The article represents a written form of the long talk.

Students will be graded based on four tasks:

  • Short talk, 5–7 minutes (~10% of the grade)
  • Long talk, 30–40 minutes (~40%)
  • Article, 8 pages + references (~40%)
  • Participation (~10%)


Introduction and short talks:

  • 2017-10-11. Kick-off meeting [slides]
  • 2017-10-18. Introductory talk on computational argumentation [slides]
  • until 2017-10-22. Participants choose topics [slides]
  • 2017-10-25. Introductory talk on Webis research in the field [slides] + topic assignment [slides (updated 2017-11-08)]
  • 2017-11-01. Introductory talk on presenting [slides]
  • 2017-11-08. Short talks on each topic + short overview [slides]

Long Talks:

  • 2017-11-29. Mining 1: Unit Segmentation (Milad Alshomary)
  • 2017-12-06. Mining 3: Relation Identification (Oana Popescu), Stance Classification (Kevin Lang)
  • 2017-12-13. Classification of Schemes (Wael Al-Atrash), Discourse and Argumentation (He Ren)
  • 2017-12-20. Argumentation Quality Assessment (Anne Peter)
  • 2018-01-10. Debate Winner Prediction (Jawad Ahmed), Framing (Andrii Artamonov)
  • 2018-01-17. Argumentation Strategies (Tauqeer Ashraf)
  • 2018-01-24. Argumentation Synthesis (Saeed Entezari), Visualization and Interaction (Liselot Ramirez)
  • 2018-01-31. Argument Search (Sujay Shalawadi), Argumentative Writing Support (Aaron Solbach)


  • 2018-01-31. Conclusion with some info about the articles. [slides
  • until 2018-03-23. Participants submit their written articles.


  • ACL-style templates to be used for the articles. [latex] [word]