Two PhD Positions in Hybrid Knowledge Representation at Örebro University

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Two PhD Positions in Hybrid Knowledge Representation at Örebro University

Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS) Örebro University, Sweden
Applications are invited for two PhD student positions in Computer Science at Örebro University, Sweden. The positions are in the area of hybrid knowledge representaiton and reasoning, planning and execution monitoring in the context of the EU project RACE. The positions are for three years. Application deadline is October 15, 2011.

About the Positions
The main task of the students will be to perform world-class research on hybrid knowledge representation and reasoning, and hybrid planning and plan execution monitoring, for robotic systems. Hybrid in this context means that the robot is capable of inferring new information about its environment from a variety of information of different nature. For instance, the robot will consider flexible temporal requirements (e.g., serving food while it is warm, but not too soon after the previous course) together with causal requirements (e.g., serving a meal satisfies the goal of feeding the guests) and resource constraints (e.g., dishes from the previous course must be cleared as space must be made for the new course). Such requirements should be upheld both during planning and on-line execution monitoring.

The successful candidates will be employed as PhD students with Örebro University for an expected duration of three years. They will work within the local RACE team at Örebro University, but they will also collaborate with the other European partners in RACE, both remotely and through physical meetings and research visits. A limited amount of teaching may also be part of the PhD student`s duties.

More information can be found at Official Website

About the RACE Project
RACE, “Robustness by Autonomous Competence Enhancement”, is a European Uni0n FP7 project. The overall aim of RACE is to develop an artificial cognitive system, embodied by a service robot, able to build a high-level understanding of the world it inhabits by storing and exploiting appropriate memories of its experiences. Experiences will be recorded internally at multiple levels: high-level descriptions in terms of goals, tasks and behaviours, and sensory and actuator skills at the lowest level. RACE will develop methods for conceptualizing acquired experiences so as to extend the robot`s planning and execution capabilities beyond preconceived situations.

AASS`s role in RACE concerns (1) the development of knowledge representation and reasoning schemes suited for reasoning about multiple types of experiences; and (2) the use of this acquired and inferred knowledge for plan generation and execution. Constraint-based techniques will be explored for both representation and reasoning and planning/execution monitoring purposes, and in particular a meta-CSP approach for integrating temporal, resource, causal and spatial reasoning will be examined.

The RACE consortium consists of six European partners: the University of Hamburg (Germany), the University of Leeds (UK), Örebro University (Sweden), the University of Osnabrück (Germany), the University of Aveiro (Portugal), and the technology transfer institution HITeCe.V. (Germany).

About the Working Place
Örebro University (official website) is a young university which currently enrolls more than 15,000 students. It is located in Örebro, a city of 130,000 inhabitants situated in central Sweden.

The Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS) is one of the Strong Research Environments at Örebro University. It carries out multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of robotics, computer science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The research and human environment at AASS is young and enthusiastic. Researchers come from a dozen different countries, in Europe and worldwide, and have different scientific and cultural backgrounds. AASS also frequently hosts international researchers and is involved in several international projects.

AASS is internationally renowned for its research in cognitive robotic systems. Further information about AASS and the Cognitive Robotic Systems lab can be found at Official Website and Official Website.

Prerequisites and Application Process
In addition to a clear interest in one or more of the above research topics, the successful applicant must have a strong theoretical background in computer science, and solid programming skills. A Master`s in computer science, computer engineering or comparable field is required. We particularly seek candidates with experience in artificial intelligence, planning and constraint reasoning, and with inclinations towards cross-disciplinary research. Knowledge of the Swedish language is not required, but proficiency in written and spoken English is mandatory.

To apply for a position, please send a motivation letter along with an updated CV (including at least two academic references) by email to Prof. Alessandro Saffiotti .

Applications can be sent immediately and until October 15, 2011. We are looking forward to receiving your application!

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