Computational Inference for Evidential Reasoning in support of Judicial Proof

Citation: Levitt, T.S. and K.B. Laskey, "Computational Inference for Evidential Reasoning in support of Judicial Proof", to appear in Cardozo Law Review.


Judicial proof accrues evidence to confirm or deny hypotheses about world events relevant to a legal case. Software applications that seek to support the process of judicial proof must provide the user with sophisticated capabilities to represent and manipulate evidential reasoning for legal cases. This requires computational techniques to represent the actors, entities, events and context of world situations, to structure alternative hypotheses interpreting evidence, and to execute processes that draw inferences about the truth of hypotheses by assessing the relevance and weight of evidence to confirm or deny the hypotheses. Bayesian inference networks are combined with knowledge representations from artificial intelligence to structure and analyze evidential argumentation. The infamous 1994 Raddad murder trial in Nice, France provides a backdrop against which we illustrate the application of these techniques to evidential reasoning in support of judicial proof.

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