Compare and Contrast: A Test of Expertise

Kevin D. Ashley, Edwina L. Rissland

In this paper we present three key elements of case-based reasoning ("CBR") and describe how these are realized in our HYPO program which performs legal reasoning in the domain of trade secret law by comparing and contrasting cases. More specifically, the key elements involve how prior cases are used for: (1) Credit assignment of factual features; (2) Justification; and (3) Argument in domains that do not necessarily have strong causal theories or well-understood empirical regularities. We show how HYPO uses "dimensions", "case-analysis-record" and "claim lattice" mechanisms to perform indexing and relevancy assessment of past cases dynamically and how it compares and contrasts cases to come up with the best cases pro and con a decision.

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