BankXX: Supporting legal arguments through heuristic retrieval [Book Review]

Abstract
The BankXX system models the process of perusing and gathering information for argument as a heuristic best-first search for relevant cases, theories, and other domain-specific information. As BankXX searches its heterogeneous and highly interconnected network of domain knowledge, information is incrementally analyzed and amalgamated into a dozen desirable ingredients for argument (called argument pieces), such as citations to cases, applications of legal theories, and references to prototypical factual scenarios. At the conclusion of the search, BankXX outputs the set of argument pieces filled with harvested material relevant to the input problem situation.This research explores the appropriateness of the search paradigm as a framework for harvesting and mining information needed to make legal arguments. In this article, we describe how legal research fits the heuristic search framework and detail how this model is used in BankXX. We describe the BankXX program with emphasis on its representation of legal knowledge and legal argument. We describe the heuristic search mechanism and evaluation functions that drive the program. We give an extended example of the processing of BankXX on the facts of an actual legal case in BankXX's application domain — the good faith question of Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy law. We discuss closely related research on legal knowledge representation and retrieval and the use of search for case retrieval or tasks related to argument creation. Finally we review what we believe are the contributions of this research to the understanding of the diverse disciplines it addresses.
Keywords legal argument  heuristic search  best-first search  evaluation function  bankruptcy law  “good faith”  information retrieval  information harvesting  case-domain graph  argument pieces  argument dimensions  argument factors  neighbor methods
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Howard Turtle (1995). Text Retrieval in the Legal World. Artificial Intelligence and Law 3 (1-2):5-54.
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