Representing Law in Partial Information Structures

Author: Peek, N.

Source: Artificial Intelligence and Law, Volume 5, Number 4, December 1997 , pp. 263-290(28)

Publisher: Springer

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This paper presents a new language for isomorphic representations of legal knowledge in feature structures. The language includes predefined structures based on situation theory for common-sense categories, and predefined structures based on Van Kralingen's (1995) frame-based conceptual modelling language for legal rules. It is shown that the flexibility of the feature-structure formalism can exploited to allow for structure-preserving representations of non-primitive concepts, and to enable various types of interaction and cross-reference between language elements. A fragment of the Dutch Opium Act is used to illustrate how modelling and reasoning proceed in practice.

Keywords: feature structures; isomorphism; legal-knowledge representation

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Department of Computer Science, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.089, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands (E-mail:

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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