Integrating Argument Visualisation
Tools in Social Platforms to
Facilitate Online Political Debates:
The WAVE Platform
, Yojana Priya Menda2
, David Price4
, Efthimios Tambouris1
, Konstantinos Tarabanis1
University of Macedonia, Greece, 2
National University of Ireland, DERI, Ireland, 3
Greek National Center
for Public Administration and Decentralization (GNCPAD), 4
Thoughtgraph Ltd., UK.
International Conference on eParticipation, Lausanne, Switzerland, 31 August, 2010
Why collaborative thinkingmatters…
There are always
more smart people
than within it…
…and engaging this intelligence
transparently is efficient and effective
and strengthens public trust.
How to make sense of everyone’s opinions?
I can’t believe...
What are they
I agree, but...
It could work...
..and what if many speak at the same time?
Listen to everything the community has
Focus on the underlying ideas
Argument Visualisation (AV) Tools allow to:
– Gather the set of ideas distributed in the
– Represent each idea just once
– Encourage creative-thinking through group
Online Debate: an example
AV Tools Promises
Enable structuring debates along issues,
positions, arguments (supportive and
This way, debates are more easy to
understand, contribute and conclude
Also, debates are smaller in size and more
comprehensive by discouraging duplication
(e.g. when compared to eforums)
AV and Social Networks
Despite their promises however AV tools have not
yet realised their full potential
At the same time, social platforms based on the so-
called Web 2.0 technologies achieve tremendous
This is particularly true for the youngsters, which is
exactly the target group of online political
How about enhancing AV tools with social platforms’
Join Rate FeedbackShare Ideas Join Groups
Explore the ideas by clicking on the bubbles
Small bubbles go deeper: large bubbles go back up
Different colours have different meanings
Use the tabs to show Details and Context
Sign up to start rating and adding your own ideas
Rate FeedbackShare Ideas Join Groups
Tell us which ideas are the best? What issues are most
important? What are the strong and weak arguments?
Rate the ideas on the (1) Weak to (9) Strong scale
Stronger ideas have thicker arrows
FeedbackShare Ideas Join Groups
Add your own ideas to the map
Discuss the ideas in the Stream
Link to places where the ideas are stated
Rate FeedbackJoin Groups
Form and join groups to:
focus on particular issues and ideas, and
find people with shared interests
Rate FeedbackShare Ideas
Tell us what you think about this new site:
How are we doing?
What do you like?
What can we do better?
Rate Share Ideas Join Groups
WAVE portal CMS: Drupal
Operating System: Debian Linux
Web Server: Apache2
Database Server: MySQL
Web Communication: REST Web Services & RSS
Flash Facts about WAVE
Starting date: 1 February 2009
Duration: 24 months
Consortium: 8 organisations, 6 countries
(Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland,
Trial Sites: UK, France, Lithuania, Europe
Co-funded by the European Commission under the
eParticipation Preparatory Action.
WAVE Project Overview
WAVE platform aims to merge the benefits of state-
of-the-art argument visualisation tools with the
intuitive interface, capabilities and look-and-feel of
social, Web 2.0 platforms.
– Test the effectiveness of argument visualization tools in
helping citizens from a variety of countries and
demographics to better understand complex issues
– Measure whether and under what conditions these tools
can have specific impact on one of the most important and
popular legislative agendas facing Europe (environment)
AIDC UK Ltd,
National University of
Thank you for your attention!
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