Arguments, scenarios and probabilities: connections between three normative frameworks for evidential reasoning

Bart Verheij*, F.J. Bex, S.T. Timmer, Charlotte s. Vlek, J.J.C. Meyer, S. Renooij, H. Prakken

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Due to the uses of DNA profiling in criminal investigation and decision-making, it is ever more common that probabilistic information is discussed in courts. The people involved have varied backgrounds, as factfinders and lawyers are more trained in the use of non-probabilistic information, while forensic experts handle probabilistic information on a routine basis. Hence, it is important to have a good understanding of the sort of reasoning that happens in criminal cases, both probabilistic and non-probabilistic. In the present article, we report results on combining three normative reasoning frameworks from the literature: arguments, scenarios and probabilities. We discuss a hybrid model that connects arguments and scenarios, a method to probabilistically model possible scenarios in a Bayesian network, a method to extract arguments from a Bayesian network and a proposal to model arguments for and against different scenarios in standard probability theory. These results have been produced as parts of research projects on the formal and computational modelling of evidence. The present article reviews these results, shows how they are connected and where they differ, and discusses strengths and limitations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-70
    JournalLaw, Probability & Risk
    Issue number1
    Early online date11 Sept 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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