28 June 2017
Intelligent Computer Mathematics. CICM 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science
This paper outlines a strategy for building semantically meaningful representations and carrying out effective reasoning in technical knowledge domains such as mathematics. Our central assertion is that the semi-structured Q & A format, as used on the popular Stack Exchange network of websites, exposes domain knowledge in a form that is already reasonably close to the structured knowledge formats that computers can reason about. The knowledge in question is not only facts - but discursive, dialectical, argument for purposes of proof and pedagogy. We therefore assert that modelling the Q & A process computationally provides a route to domain understanding that is compatible with the day-to-day practices of mathematicians and students. This position is supported by a small case study that analyses one question from Mathoverflow in detail, using concepts from argumentation theory. A programme of future work, including a rigorous evaluation strategy, is then advanced.
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