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A DSL for Explaining Probabilistic Reasoning

TitleA DSL for Explaining Probabilistic Reasoning
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsErwig, M., and E. Walkingshaw
Pagination335 - 359
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
CityBerlin, Heidelberg
ISBN Number978-3-642-03034-5

We propose a new focus in language design where languages provide constructs that not only describe the computation of results, but also produce explanations of how and why those results were obtained. We posit that if users are to understand computations produced by a language, that language should provide explanations to the user.

As an example of such an explanation-oriented language we present a domain-specific language for explaining probabilistic reasoning, a domain that is not well understood by non-experts. We show the design of the DSL in several steps. Based on a story-telling metaphor of explanations, we identify generic constructs for building stories out of events, and obtaining explanations by applying stories to specific examples. These generic constructs are then adapted to the particular explanation domain of probabilistic reasoning. Finally, we develop a visual notation for explaining probabilistic reasoning.


2009 Best Paper Award