Decision making processes, be it at the societal or at the personal level, often come to a point where one side challenges the other with a why-question, which is a prompt to justify some stance based on arguments. Since technologies for argument mining are maturing at a rapid pace, also ad-hoc argument retrieval becomes a feasible task in reach. We invite you to participate in the second Touché lab on argument retrieval at CLEF 2021 featuring two tasks.

Shared Tasks

Important Dates

  • November 16, 2020: Registration opens.
  • April 30, 2021: Registration closes.
  • May 7, 2021: Approaches submission deadline.
  • May 28, 2021: Participant paper submission [template] [submit].
  • June 11, 2021: Peer review notification.
  • Mid June, 2021: Evaluation results out.
  • July 2, 2021: Camera-ready participant papers submission [instructions].
  • September 21-24, 2021: CLEF Conference.
  • September 24, 2021: Touché Workshop on Argument Retrieval.

All deadlines are 23:59 CEST.


Anne Lauscher
Theory-based Argument Quality for Advanced Argument Retrieval: Opportunities and Challenges

Bocconi University, Milan

In Argument Retrieval, not only the relevance of an argumentative text with respect to the input query needs to be assessed. To truly fulfill a user's information need within the highly convoluted arena of argumentation, other qualitative aspects, such as the appropriateness and clarity of the argument play a crucial role. These concepts relate to the so-called "theory-based" notion of argument quality, which decomposes overall quality into a series of fine-grained qualitative aspects, each relating to either the logical, rhetorical, or dialectical dimension of arguments. However, despite the fact that this notion offers the potential for more advanced and targeted argument retrieval, the landscape of research efforts on theory-based argument quality in computational argumentation is still scarce. In this talk, we discuss the current state of research on theory-based argument quality in NLP, its opportunities for argument retrieval, as well as its current and future challenges.

Anne Lauscher recently started as a postdoctoral researcher in the Natural Language Processing group at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, where she is working on introducing demographic factors into language processing systems with the aim of improving algorithmic performance and system fairness. She obtained her Ph.D., awarded with the highest honors, from the Data and Web Science group at the University of Mannheim, Germany, where her research focused on the interplay between language representations and computational argumentation. During her studies, she also interned at and became an independent research contractor for Grammarly Inc. and for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Her research has been published at top-tier conferences in NLP and AI (EMNLP, ACL, AAAI, COLING), for which she also regularly serves as a program committee member and (ethics) reviewer.

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Touché program was part of the CLEF 2021 conference program. [video]

September, 24 (times are CEST)
Touché: Argument Retrieval Workshop was held online [slides]
10:30-10:40 Touché 2021 Welcome
Alexander Bondarenko
Session 1: Argument Retrieval for Controversial Questions
10:40-10:50 Overview of Task 1 on Argument Retrieval for Controversial Questions
Lukas Gienapp
10:50-11:05 Exploring Argument Retrieval for Controversial Questions Using Retrieve and Re-rank Pipelines [paper]
Raunak Agarwal, Andrei Koniaev, Robin Schaefer
11:05-11:20 Exploring Document Expansion for Argument Retrieval [paper]
Alina Mailach, Denise Arnold, Stefan Eysoldt, Simon Kleine
11:20-11:35 Team Skeletor at Touché 2021: Argument Retrieval and Visualization for Controversial Questions [paper] [slides]
Kevin Ros, Carl Edwards, Heng Ji, ChengXiang Zhai
11:35-12:00 Lightning talks
Touché Task 1 participants
12:00-13:00 Lunch break
Session 2: Argument Retrieval for Comparative Questions
13:00-13:30 Keynote: Theory-based Argument Quality for Advanced Argument Retrieval: Opportunities and Challenges [slides]
Anne Lauscher
13:30-13:40 Overview of Task 2 on Argument Retrieval for Comparative Questions
Alexander Bondarenko
13:40-13:50 DistilBERT-based Argumentation Retrieval for Answering Comparative Questions [paper] [slides]
Alaa Alhamzeh, Mohamed Bouhaouel, Előd Egyed-Zsigmond, Jelena Mitrović
13:50-14:00 Retrieving Comparative Arguments using Ensemble Methods and Neural Information Retrieval [paper] [slides]
Viktoriia Chekalina, Alexander Panchenko
14:00-14:10 Lightning talks
Touché Task 2 participants
14:10-14:30 Panel discussion and closing remarks

Organizing Committee