Modeling crime scenarios in a Bayesian Network

Charlotte Vlek, Henry Prakken, Silja Renooij, Bart Verheij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
454 Downloads (Pure)


Legal cases involve reasoning with evidence and with the development of a software support tool in mind, a formal foundation for evidential reasoning is required. Three approaches to evidential reasoning have been prominent in the literature: argumentation, narrative and probabilistic reasoning. In this paper a combination of the latter two is proposed.

In recent research on Bayesian networks applied to legal cases, a number of legal idioms have been developed as recurring structures in legal Bayesian networks. A Bayesian network quantifies how various variables in a case interact. In the narrative approach, scenarios provide a context for the evidence in a case. A method that integrates the quantitative, numerical techniques of Bayesian networks with the qualitative, holistic approach of scenarios is lacking.

In this paper, a method is proposed for modeling several scenarios in a single Bayesian network. The method is tested by doing a case study. Two new idioms are introduced: the scenario idiom and the merged scenarios idiom. The resulting network is meant to assist a judge or jury, helping to maintain a good overview of the interactions between relevant variables in a case and preventing tunnel vision by comparing various scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2013)
Place of PublicationNew York (New York)
PublisherACM Press
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2013) - Rome, Italy
Duration: 10-Jun-201314-Jun-2013


Conference14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2013)


  • Bayesian Networks
  • Narrative
  • Reasoning with evidence


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