Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Computer Science


Computer Science


Franz Kurfess


This thesis presents a new platform called See the Reason, built upon a tree- structured argumentation model called the Counter/Assumption model. In the Counter/Assumption model, a topic is posted first, then under that topic, reasons for and against, and for each reason, counterarguments, and for any counterargu- ment, more counterarguments. The model enables us to systematically determine whether a claim is “tentatively true” or “tentatively false,” in an effort to motivate people to make their side’s claims tentatively true and the opposing side’s claims tentatively false, thus encouraging conflict. Research suggests that debates with more conflict are better, so this thesis investigates whether Counter/Assumption model encourages better debates.

In this thesis, we have students debate on See the Reason and the closest existing platform, CreateDebate. We measure the number of uncaught bad ar- guments, the user satisfaction, and how far into the Interaction Analysis Model the debates progress. We find promising evidence that See the Reason progresses further into the IAM and encourages more logical debates, but sacrifices usability at the same time.

EvanOvadiaThesisCompiledOnMac.pdf (3301 kB)
Same as the one compiled on windows, this one is here just in case for some reason the windows one doesnt work