Law, Decision-Making, and Microcomputers: Cross-National Perspectives

By Stuart S. Nagel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
Automatic Generation of a Legal
Expert System

Layman E. Allenand Charles Saxon


INTRODUCTION

The use of the AUTOPROLOG system to generate automatically a legal expert system is described in this chapter.1 The interpretation of a statutory or other legal rule by one expert (or by the consensus of a group of experts) expressed in normalized form is the only input needed by the AUTOPROLOG system (which includes Turbo Prolog, the AUTOPRO program, and some data files) to produce automatically a computer program that is an expert system for that legal rule. The process for producing a legal expert system for Section 213.1 of the Model Penal Code, which deals with rape and related offenses, by using the AUTOPROLOG system is described and the resulting legal expert system is illustrated.

The expert system so produced draws inferences about a situation described by a user and supplies explanations of the grounds for those inferences in terms of the provisions of the statute. It also specifies some inferences that cannot be drawn. The user's description of the situation to be analyzed is provided to the program in the form of responses that the user gives to a series of questions that are constructed by the system.

In illustrating how such an expert system is generated and used, the process for producing a normalized version of Section 213.1 of the Model Penal Code is described first. An interpreter's analysis together with the NORMALIZER program is then used to construct a normalized version of Section 213.1. That normalized version is, in turn used to construct an input file to AUTOPROLOG

____________________
This article was presented as a paper by Leslie A. Olsen of the University of Michigan College of
Engineering on behalf of Allen and Saxon at the Seventeenth American Society for Information
Science Mid-Year Meeting, May 15-18, 1988.

-243-

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