Carneades is an Open Source software library for building tools supporting a variety of argumentation tasks, including:

  1. Argument construction from defeasible rules, precedent cases, definitions (`ontologies’) and testimonial evidence;
  2. Argument evaluation, applying proof standards and respecting the distribution of the burden of proof;
  3. Argument visualization, and
  4. Argument interchange, using RDF/OWL and XML formats based on the conceptual model of the Argument Interchange Format.

The argument construction module uses resource-bounded heuristic strategies to search the space of arguments induced by a set of computational models of various argumentation schemes.  Several heuristic search strategies are available, including depth-first, breadth-first, best-first and iterative deepening.   The system includes a simple API for extending the system with computational models of other argumentation schemes.  Any number of argumentation schemes may be used together, making Carneades an open architecture for hybrid reasoning.

Carneades is implemented in a declarative, functional style using the Scheme programming language.

Carneades’ principal developer is Tom Gordon, of the ELAN Competence Center for eGovernment, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin.