This chapter presents deliberation dialogue as a framework for argumentation used in group decision-making. Drawing on and summarizing the previous literature in argumentation and artificial intelligence (AI), the chapter: (1) outlines the characteristics of deliberation as a type of dialogue; (2) distinguishes between deliberation dialogue and other types of dialogue it is closely related to and often confused with; (3) refines the existing models of deliberation to make them more useful for supporting reasoning communities engaged in collaborative decision making; (4) provides a worked example to show what the stages and characteristics of a deliberation dialogue are, and show how methods from AI and argumentation can be applied to analyzing it; and (5) outlines some further areas for research on deliberation that are currently being studied.
Alice and Bob have moved from Edmonton to Windsor, and their real estate agent, Carol, has been showing them houses. They are under some pressure to make a decision within two months, as their furniture is then to be shipped from their previous house, and moving this amount of furniture to a storage unit, and then moving again to their new home, is a costly procedure. Their agent has provided them with a lot of information, and they have been looking through housing ads, and collecting as much information as they can about the housing situation in Windsor at the present time. Now they have narrowed the choice down to three homes, each of which would be suitable. The first is a condominium listed at $200,000. The second is a two-story house listed at $340,000. The third is a bungalow listed at $270,000. Another option is to select none of the three and keep searching, but they hope to avoid the potentially costly consequences of this action.