Kevin Ashley

Department web site

Research web site

Kevin Ashley

Professor, University of Pittsburgh Graduate Program in Intelligent Systems

Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Senior Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center

Research Interests

My research interests in Learning, Law and Computer Science are to:

  1. Develop computational models of case-based reasoning (CBR) in domains like law and practical ethics as an intellectual methodology for better understanding comparative evaluation with cases and principles and as a basis for intelligent computer systems to educate students and assist practitioners.
  2. Develop case-based and analogical reasoning as alternative techniques for representing and acquiring knowledge in Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs.
  3. Identify and analyze special legal problems posed by computer technology in such areas as intellectual property, commercial law, product liability, technology licensing, computer crime and privacy.

Šavelka, J. & Ashley, K. (2021). Legal information retrieval for understanding statutory terms. Artificial Intelligence and Law.

Ashley, K., Litman, D., He, D., Hwa, R., & Anderson, J. (2021). Center for text analytic methods in legal studies. In: Pitt Momentum Fund 2021.

Xu, H., Šavelka, J., & Ashley, K.D. (2020). Using argument mining for legal text summarization. Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, 334, 184-193.

Westermann, H., Šavelka, J., Walker, V., Ashley, K.D., & Benyekhlef, K. (2020). Sentence embeddings and high-speed similarity search for fast computer assisted annotation of legal documents. Legal Knowledge and Information Systems 334, 164-173.

Savelka, J., & Ashley, K. D. (2018). Segmenting U.S. court decisions into functional and issue specific parts. Proceedings of JURIX 2018. Groningen, The Netherlands.

Ashley, K. (2017). Artificial Intelligence and Legal Analytics: New Tools for Law Practice in the Digital Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Savelka, J., Walker, V. R., Grabmair, M., & Ashley, K. D. (2017). Sentence Boundary Detection in Adjudicatory Decisions in the United States. Traitement automatique des langues, 58(2), 21-45.

Barstow, B., Fazio, L., Schunn, C., Ashley, K., et al. (2017). Experimental evidence for diagramming benefits in science writing. Instructional Science, 45(3), 1-20.

Jabbari, F., Falakmasir, M., & Ashley, K. (2016). Identifying Thesis Statements in Student Essays: The Class Imbalance Challenge and Resolution. In Proceedings of the 29th International FLAIRS Conference, Special Track on Applied Natural Language Processing, Key Largo, Florida, USA.

Barstow, B., Fazio, L., Lippman, J., Falakmasir, M., Schunn, C. D., & Ashley, K. D. (2016). The impacts of domain-general vs. domain-specific diagramming tools on writing. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 1-23.

Ashley, K. (2016). Putting argument mining to work: An experiment in legal argument retrieval using the LUIMA type system and pipeline. Dagstuhl Seminar 16161– Natural Language Argumentation: Mining, Processing, and Reasoning over Textual Arguments. April.

Grabmair, M., Ashley, K. D., Chen, R., Sureshkumar, P., Wang, C., Nyberg, E., & Walker, V. R. (2015). Introducing LUIMA: An Experiment in Legal Conceptual Retrieval of Vaccine Injury Decisions using a UIMA Type System and Tools. Proceedings, Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, ICAIL 2015, 69-78, ACM, 2015.

Correnti, R., Stein, M.K., Smith, M., Scherrer, J., McKeown, M., Greeno, J., & Ashley, K. (2015). Improving Teaching at Scale: Design for the Scientific Measurement and Development of Discourse Practice.  In L. Resnick & C. Asterhan  (Eds),  Socializing Intelligence through Academic Talk and Dialogue.

Baikadi, A., Schunn, C., & Ashley, K. (2015). Understanding revision planning in peer-reviewed writing. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, 1-4.

Šavelka, J. & Ashley, K. (2015). Transfer of predictive models for classification of statutory texts in multi-jurisdictional settings. In K. Atkinson. Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law (ICAIL 2015). New York: ACM, 2015, pp. 216-220.

Ashley, K., & Falakmasir, M. (2015). A global perspective on argument diagramming to support writing skills. 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 7354-7363. Barcelona, July.

Lynch, C., Ashley, K. D., & Chi, M. (2014). Can Diagrams Predict Essay Grades?. Springer, To appear in Proceedings, 12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 8474.

Ashley, K., & Savelka, J,. (2014). Book Review of Conflict Resolution and its Context From the Analysis of Behavioural Patterns to Efficient Decision-Making by Davide Carneiro, Paulo Novais, Jose Neves, Springer,. [to appear in International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution]

Sweeney, P. M., Bjerke, E. F., Potter, M. A., Guclu, H., Keane, C. R., Ashley, K. D., Grabmair, M., & Hwa, R. (2014) Network Analysis of Manually-Encoded State Laws and Prospects for Automation. In Winkels, R; Lettieri, N; Faro, S (Eds.) Network Analysis in Law, Collana: Diritto Scienza Tecnologia/Law Science Technology – Temi, 3, pp. 53-78. Napoli: Edizione Scientifiche Italiane.

Falakmasir, M. H., Ashley, K. D., Schunn, C. D., & Litman D. J. (2014). Identifying thesis and conclusion statements in student essays to scaffold peer review. Proceedings 12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS). Honolulu, HI.

Ashley, K. (2013). Evaluating the uses of Values in A model of Legal Reasoning with Cases Incorporating Theories and Value. In H. Prakken, K. Atkinson, A. Wyner A (Eds.), Festschrift in Honor of Trevor Bench- Capon.

Ashley, K. (2013). Teaching Law and Digital Age Legal Practice with an AI and Law Seminar. Chicago Law Review, 88(3), 783-784.

Falakmassir, M. H., Ashley, K. D., & Schunn, C. D. (2013). Using Argument Diagramming to Improve Peer Grading of Writing Assignments.Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Massive Open Online Courses (moocshop) at the 16th Annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2013). Memphis, TN.

Grabmair, M., & Ashley, K. D. (2013). Using Event Progression to Enhance Purposive Argumentation in the Value Judgment Formalism. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. ICAIL 2013, Jun 10-14; Rome, Italy, 73-82.

Ashley, K. D., & Walker, V. (2013). Toward Constructing Evidence-Based Legal Arguments Using Legal Decision Documents and Machine Learning. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. ICAIL 2013, June 10-14; Rome, Italy, 176-180.

Kudos to Momentum Grant recipients from LRDC as PI or co-PIs: Josefina ?Bañales: Anti-Racism Action Development Among Latinx Youth (Seeding Grant); Jamie Hanson: Understanding the Role of the Brain in Race/Ethnicity Based Stressors and Behavioral Challenges Among Youth of Color; Kevin Ashley and Diane Litman: Center for Text Analytic Methods in Legal Studies (Teaming Grants); Omid Fotuhi: Improving Educational Opportunities for Black Youth in Pittsburgh: A Justice-Centered Intervention (Scaling Grant).

June 2021


Kevin Ashley and Diane Litman are featured in a Pittwire accolade for the recently awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) FAI: Using AI to Increase Fairness by Improving Access to Justice.

February 24, 2021


Kevin Ashley and Diane Litman have received a National Science Foundation award titled FAI: Using AI to Increase Fairness by Improving Access to Justice for their research on fairness in artificial intelligence in collaboration with Amazon.

January 25, 2021


Kevin Ashley, Professor, Law and Intelligent Systems in the School of Law, and LRDC Senior Scientist received a grant from the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security 2018 Pitt Cyber Accelerator Grants Program. Winners receive funding for research projects that examine the swiftly changing technological landscape and the rules, practices and safeguards designed to keep it secure. Jaromir Savelka, PhD candidate, School of Computing and Information, and LRDC graduate student also received a grant.

November 19, 2018


Kevin Ashley was recognized as a distinguished alumnus at his alma mater (UMass Amherst CS PhD ’88) with an Outstanding Achievement and Advocacy (OAA) Award on Friday, May 1, 2015. The OAA recognizes UMass computer science innovators in settings around the world.

May 4, 2015

The first Intelligent Systems Program Yearly Newsletter.

September 2014


Visiting Fellow, Law Department

October 2011

European University Institute, Firenze

Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies

October-November 2011

University of Bologna

Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney Faculty Scholar


IBM's Watson Comes to Pitt, Carnegie Mellon University

March 28, 2011

Pitt Chronicle

University of Pittsburgh Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Innovation in Education Award

April 2009

For project entitled, "A Peer-Review-Based Student Model for Ill-Defined Problem-Solving" $25,000.

Supreme Decisions

Spring 2009

Pitt Magazine

Selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence.


"For significant contributions in computationally modeling case-based and analogical reasoning in law and practical ethics."

Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award

January 2000

"You won special praise for developing a revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) model of case-based reasoning in law. This award honors your development of a cognitive science model of practical ethical reasoning and an AI model of ethics case comparison as well as your pioneering work in applying AI to research in legal and practical ethical reasoning."

Outstanding Research Paper Award

July 1999

Third International Conference On Case-Based Reasoning. Seeon, Germany

Distinguished Paper Award

October 1995

First International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning. Sesimbra, Portugal

National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (PYI)


Award combines direct and matching funds up to $100,000 per year for a period of five years to study case-based and analogical reasoning in law and legal education.

Philips Laboratories Award


for Best Student Paper at Fourth Conference on Artificial Intelligence Applications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE). San Diego,

IBM Graduate Research Fellowship