Carnegie Mellon University
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Assessing Relevance With Extensionally Defined Principles and Cases

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journal contribution
posted on 2000-01-01, 00:00 authored by Bruce M. McLaren, Kevin D. Ashley
Expert decision-makers often explain decisions by citing general principles. In some domains, however, it is nearly impossible to define principles intensionally so that they may be applied deductively. After investigating hundreds of professional ethics case opinions, we hypothesized that the decision-makers’ explanations extensionally defined principles over time, in effect, operationalizing them. To model this phenomenon computationally, we constructed SIROCCO, a system for retrieving principles and past cases. This paper presents empirical evidence that operationalization information can be leveraged to predict relevant principles and past cases more accurately than competing approaches that do not use such information.




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