Using a Multi-Layered Approach to Representing Tort Law Cases for Case-Based Reasoning

Barbara B. Cuthill and Robert McCartney

This paper presents a multi-layered case representation for addressing the problem of comparing and indexing cases in a case-based reasoning system using both the facts and the underlying themes associated with those cases. In many domains, experts discuss problems in terms of multiple layers of abstract principles, classifying problems by conflicts, strategies, or themes important to the domain. For example, when lawyers compare cases, they compare the facts, each side’s interpretation of the facts, each side’s arguments, and disagreements about those arguments. Representing the case as a single flat frame does not support reasoning about the underlying themes in the case because it does not represent interconneetions among the facts and themes of the case. Instead a case-based reasoner should use a multi-layered representation including both these facts and interconnections. This representation has implications for much of the case-based reasoning process including case comparison, selection and retrieval mechanisms. The paper will describe the CHASER case-based reasoning system which uses a multi-layered case representation approach to reason about tort law cases.

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