Similarity of legal cases: From temporal relations of affairs [Book Review]

Artificial Intelligence and Law 5 (1-2):161-176 (1997)
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Abstract

Case-based reasoning has played an important role in legal reasoning systems. As one criteria for similarity of cases, temporal relationsamong affairs in legal cases should be compared. Thus far in many legalreasoning systems, cases have been described as sequences of pointwiseevents, or at best, simple time intervals, and they have been related bypredicates such as before, after, while,and so on. However, such relations may depend on each implementer'spersonal view, and also require much labor to write down by hand. In this paper, we first propose a classification of affair types by their temporal features, and according to those types, we propose several assumption rules that prescribe the temporal relations between affair types. The temporal relations are automatically generated by these rules. Thereafter, we discuss how thesetemporal relations work in the comparison of similarity of cases. Inthe process of comparison, inadequate temporal relations need to beamended. For this purpose, we introduce revision rules, that refute theresults of assumption rules.

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