Simon Shum, Rahul Ghosh
A later version is published in: International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 40 (4), 1993, pp 603-652.
Interest is growing in the possibility of capturing design rationale (DR) which justifies decisions taken in
software design. Semiformal notations which express DR (particularly of an HCI nature) in the form of design
argumentation are receiving particular attention at present. This paper traces some of the conceptual roots
which have led to the adoption of argumentative DR representations, in order to clarify why they are being used.
The roots follow the theme of providing notional and computational support for intellectual work such as writing,
argument formulation, and design. Empirical evidence to date is surveyed in order to assess the extent to
which the claims made for argumentative DR, often implicitly based on its conceptual roots, are substantiated.
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