Archive for April, 2007


The construction of a shell for building Intelligent Help Systems for Information Processing Systems (i.e. interactive computer programs). Using tools and following a methodology, designers of future Help Systems should fill the shell with the information about the specific application (e.g. a text editor, database system, or graphics program).

For more information:

Add comment April 27th, 2007

Dr. Nienke den Haan

Nienke den Haan (1996): “Automated Legal Reasoning”, PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam.

Add comment April 27th, 2007

Dr. Andre Valente

Andre Valente received a doctorate (PhD) degree from the University of Amsterdam (1995) with a thesis on artificial intelligence ands law. He also received a bachelor degree in mechanical-aeronautics engineering (1986) and a master degree in computer science (1990) from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA, Su Josh dos Campos, Brazil). He published about 30 articles in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Between 1986 and 1991 he has worked for major brazilian corporations, doing applied research and development on the fields of knowledge engineering (particularly knowledge acquisition), systems connectivity and software engineering.

Between 1991 and 1995, Valente was a guest researcher in the departments of Computer Science and Law (LRI) and Social Science Informatics (SWI) of the University of Amsterdam. His research in the first department includes results in formal languages for representation of legal knowledge and a model-based approach for legal knowledge engineering. In SWI, Valente participated on the ESPRIT project P5248 KADS-II. His research in this project concerns the development of a library of modeling components to support the development of knowledge-based systems within the CommonKADS methodology. In particular, he was involved in the design of the library and the development of library elements for planning and assessment tasks.

Presently, he is a researcher at the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California, where he develops research on the Expect Project (a knowledge acquisition architecture with explanation facilities) and the ARPA-Rome Planning Initiative.

Add comment April 27th, 2007


UvA LogoWelcome to the pages of the Leibniz Center for Law of the University of Amsterdam. As an interdisciplinary research group, we develop intelligent technology to support legal practice both in the private and public sector. We apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to problems in legal theory, legal knowledge management, and the field of law in general. In this capacity, we participate in many (inter)national research initiatives and maintain strong ties to the international research community and government agencies.

We have longstanding experience in the development of legal ontologies, automatic legal reasoning and legal knowledge-based systems, (standard) languages for representing legal knowledge and information, user-friendly disclosure of legal data, application of data science and machine learning techniques in the field of law, and the application of information technology in education and legal practice. As an academic partner, the Leibniz Center provides advice on change management in legal-knowledge-intensive processes and on improvement of legal knowledge productivity in organisations.

The Leibniz Center for Law has its roots in the former department of Computer Science & Law (est. 1989) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam.

For more background on the Leibniz Center, see our general information pages, and have a look at current projects. Students interested in our work may look for our proposals for Bachelor/Master theses.

Add comment April 20th, 2007

LKIF Core Ontology

We are pleased to announce the release of the LKIF core ontology of basic legal concepts. This ontology was developed within the ESTRELLA project to provide a standard vocabulary for legal reasoning services on the Semantic Web, and especially the Legal Knowledge Interchange Format (LKIF).

The LKIF ontology is inspired by the commonsense orientation of the (discontinued) LRI Core ontology effort. It consists of 14 ontology modules, describing concepts that range from general concepst such as time, place, change and process to the concepts most central to the legal field such as actions, transactions, beliefs, intentions, expressions and norms.

For more information, please consult the LKIF Core ontology website, browse the online documentation, or download the ESTRELLA Deliverable 1.4.

The ontology can be loaded directly into your favorite OWL Ontology editor from:

Add comment April 17th, 2007

Mr.dr. Antoinette Muntjewerff

Antoinette MuntjewerffComputational Legal Theory
Room: B1.09
Phone: +31-(0)20-5253418

Add comment April 13th, 2007

Marcello di Bello

Marcello di BelloESTRELLA
Room: B3.10
Phone: +31-(0)20-5254797

Add comment April 12th, 2007


Smart Environment for Assisting the Drafting and Debating of Legislation

Continue Reading Add comment April 11th, 2007

Ádám Kollár, MSc.

Adam KollarSeal Project
Room: B3.10
Phone: +31-(0)20-5254718
Email: a.i.kollar
Links: CV

Add comment April 11th, 2007

Drs. Saskia van de Ven

Saskia van de VenAgile
Room: ET1.09
Phone: +31-(0)20-5254718
Email: email
Links: Publications

Add comment April 11th, 2007

Drs. Emily Besselink

Emily BesselinkEmail: email

MSc Forensic Science student 2006-2007
Internship Forensic Intelligence
Electronic Tracking of Criminal Offenders using
GIS and Legal Atlas: a Feasibility & Utility Study

At family gatherings, my relatives got so tired of repeating themselves that they left Grandma out of conversations. Even as a kid, I realized how isolated she must have felt due to her severe hearing loss.

My grandmother never got a hearing aid because she worried that wearing a huge piece of equipment behind her ear would alert the whole world to her hearing loss. Anyone who shares the same fear today should know this:

Times have changed. These aren’t your grandma’s hearing aids.

“I like to say that the hearing loss is more visible to others than the hearing aid,” says Pam Mason, director of audiology professional practices at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). “Hearing aids today are behind the ear, very small, with a tiny wire that goes down into your ear canal. They truly are invisible.”

Hearing aids are not the only hearing loss treatments available. There are other options, including middle ear implants and cochlear implants. But before you can get a hearing aid or any other hearing device, you need to first find out what’s causing your hearing loss.

Step 1: Get Your Hearing Evaluated
The time to see a specialist is as soon as you start experiencing signs of hearing loss:

You’re turning up the TV or radio volume louder than usual
You have ringing in your ears
You have trouble distinguishing conversations from background noise
Your family and friends have to repeat themselves
You have difficulty hearing on the telephone
You notice a difference between the right and left ear
The hearing evaluation and treatment typically involve a team of specialists that includes an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, also called an otolaryngologist, and an audiologist.

“The first thing is to do a complete evaluation of the patient from a head and neck standpoint and understand the nature of the hearing loss,” explains Anand K. Devaiah, MD, FACS, associate professor in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Boston University School of Medicine.

Many of the medical conditions that can contribute to severe hearing loss, from infections to tumors, are treatable. For most common conditions take a lot at these link text“>sonus complete reviews.

“We might be able to intervene from a medical or surgical standpoint first,” Devaiah says. Treatments may include:

Using antibiotics to treat ear infections
Surgically correcting anatomical problems with the eardrums or bones of the middle ear
Removing ear wax that blocks the ear canal by washing it out or dissolving it with ear drops
Once any medical cause of hearing loss has been ruled out, you’ll undergo a series of hearing tests to evaluate:

Your ability to hear at different pitches and volumes
Your ability to understand speech and tell the difference between similar-sounding words
How well sound passes through your eardrum and middle ear
How well signals are passing from your ears to your brain
Step 2: Know Your Treatment Options
The type and degree of your hearing loss will determine which treatment your audiologist or ENT recommends. Here are some of your options.

Hearing aids fit inside or behind your ear. They electronically amplify the sounds going into your ear, but they don’t restore hearing. “A hearing aid will never bring their hearing back to normal, but it will improve their ability to understand speech and to hear the sounds their hearing loss is masking,” says Hull Bell.
Your audiologist will use the information from your audiogram to choose the best hearing aid for you. Then the hearing aid will be programmed to accommodate your type and degree of hearing loss. Some hearing aids amplify the higher frequencies to improve speech recognition. Other hearing aids can be programmed to accommodate for specific situations, such as noisy or quiet environments.
Lastly, your audiologist will test the hearing aid in your ear to make sure the amplification works for you. You can also customize your hearing aid further by adding one of these options:
Directional microphones boost the sound coming straight at you so that you have an easier time hearing conversations.
A telephone switch (“T” setting) filters out background noise while you’re on the phone. You can also use the “T” setting with the listening systems available in many public facilities to help you hear plays, concerts, meetings, and worship services.
Cochlear implants are electronic devices that create the sensation of sound by directly stimulating hearing nerves in the inner ear.
The benefits of cochlear implants can be dramatic, but they’re not for everyone. “It’s for those people who really cannot get good benefit from hearing aids,” says Hull Bell.
A cochlear implant isn’t like a hearing aid. It doesn’t amplify what your ears are hearing. Instead, it bypasses your ears and directly stimulates the auditory nerve, which sends the signal straight to your brain. Although cochlear implant surgery is considered to be safe, it is still surgery. So talk with your doctor about the risks.
A new technology that combines a cochlear implant with a hearing aid in the same ear is being tested in clinical trials. This technology may help certain patients with high-frequency hearing loss and some residual hearing in the low frequencies.Researchers are still testing these devices with the goal of improving hearing across the frequency spectrum.
The sound you hear with a cochlear implant is not the same as normal hearing. However, with time and practice a person’s performance ability improves. Many cochlear implant users say they’re able to hear very well in quiet environments. They also show a lot of improvement when it’s noisy. Many use landline and cell phones, and some enjoy music again.
Performance with cochlear implants gets better with time and practice. At first, someone might hear voices but may not be able to understand them very well. The brain will adapt, and this adaptation may improve if the user takes part in aural rehabilitation.
Most people with cochlear implants are satisfied with the results and can actively participate again in the hearing world.
To find out if you qualify for cochlear implants, you’ll undergo a thorough hearing loss evaluation. Your ENT will also examine you to make sure you’re healthy enough to go through the implant surgery.

Add comment April 11th, 2007


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