|Reid Swanson, Brian Ecker and Marilyn Walker|
Online forums are now one of the primary venues for public dialogue on current social and political issues. The related corpora are often huge, covering any topic imaginable. Our aim is to use these dialogue corpora to automatically discover the semantic aspects of arguments that conversants are making across multiple dialogues on a topic. We frame this goal as consisting of two tasks: argument extraction and argument facet similarity. We focus here on the argument extraction task, and show that we can train regressors to predict the quality of extracted arguments with RRSE values as low as .73 for some topics. A secondary goal is to develop regressors that are topic independent: we report results of cross-domain training and domain-adaptation with RRSE values for several topics as low as .72, when trained on topic independent features.