PolicyCommons — Visualizing Arguments in Policy Consultation

  • Neil Benn
  • Ann Macintosh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7444)


PolicyCommons is a computer supported argument visualization tool to facilitate online deliberation on public policy. As such it supports the work of stakeholders by enabling them to navigate through arguments contained in relevant consultation and policy documents. These stakeholders include policy analysts, interest groups and the public. Specifically, PolicyCommons displays arguments about policies as browsable debate maps. Users can browse these debate maps and follow links from the visual summaries of the arguments back to the original policy documents. Thus, PolicyCommons is designed to help users make sense of the range of publicly expressed opinions about public policies. The major challenges we face in using argument visualization tools for online consultations can be clustered around the four main concepts of transparency, sense-making, readability and scalability, in this paper we show how we are addressing these challenges.


e-participation online policy-deliberation argument visualization argument mapping 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Benn
    • 1
  • Ann Macintosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Communications StudiesUniversity of LeedsUnited Kingdom

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