PhD Scholarship in the Department of Computer Science

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24 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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PhD Scholarship in the Department of Computer Science

To further its research objectives, the Department of Computer Science, University of Hull is offering one
full PhD Scholarship. The scholarship will be
for one candidate applying for either of the following two

Dependability Analysis and Evoluti
onary Design of Complex Computing Systems

Supervisor : Professor Yiannis Papadopoulos, Dependable Systems Group

organisation in a Cognitive Robot within Intelligent Environments

Supervisor : Dr Peter Robinson, Dr Darryl N Davis, Professor Ping Jiang,
Intelligent Systems

Closing date for applications is 9

August 2013.

The Studentship will start in September 2013 or February 2014.

This full
time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance
(£13,590 in 2013/14, subject to final confirmation) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow mod
ules for research and transferable skills development and
gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Enquiries may also be made to the two research group coordinators or staff associated with t
he research
projects. Information on these may be found at:

Dependable Systems Group at

Intelligent Systems Group at

Enquiries may also be made via
email to:

Dr Darryl N. Davis

Director of Research

Director of Postgraduate Research Studies,


To apply for this post please follow this link and mark your application appropriately:

Dependability Analysis and Evolutionary Design of Complex Computing Systems

Supervisor : Professor Yiannis Papadopoulos, Dependable Systems Group

The Dependable Systems group is currently pioneering internationally the development of new methods
that automate the dependability analysis and optimisation of complex computer
based s
ystems. The
methods are collectively known as Hierarchically Performed Hazard Origin and Propagation Studies
HOPS) and their contributions have so far been published in more than a hundred scientific papers.
These contributions include algorithms for
synthesis of dependability analyses like fault trees and Failure
Modes and Effects Analyses as well as methods for automatic design of systems using evolutionary
techniques such as genetic algorithms. Our work has influenced international research in this
area and
received numerous awards which include best paper awards in INCOM’06 and COGNITIVE’11. It has
developed with funding by the British Government, the European Commission, and companies including
Volvo, Fiat, Continental, Toyota, Honda, Honeywell and

Landrover. Recently, the HiP
HOPS tool
has been successfully commercialised together with software houses in the UK, Germany and France and
licences have already been sold in many large organisations in industry. Applications of the work include al
transport industries, unmanned vehicles, medical systems, telehealth and potentially the cloud and internet.

Several PhD projects exist in this area in novel topics such as model
based design and dependability
analysis, automatic allocation of requireme
nts, automatic design optimisation, and support for emerging
safety standards. The work will typically involve research in software engineering, algorithms, dependability
analysis techniques and artificial intelligence. A particular project will be chosen
once the abilities and
aptitudes of the successful candidate are known. We will consider all candidates with good performance in a
Computer Science or Engineering degree and enthusiasm for research. There are no requirements for prior
exposure to any of th
e techniques researched

a strong, and highly collaborative research group, will
manage the fast and successful integration of the successful candidate.

organisation in a Cognitive Robot within an Intelligent Environment

Supervisor : Dr Peter Robin
son, Dr Darryl N Davis, Professor Ping Jiang, Intelligent Systems Group

In this proposal, a new control infrastructure for robot assisted living will be developed, where high
intelligent functionalities in a robot cognitive model will be distributed
to wireless tags/sensors attached to
things in the environment. The low
level functionalities will be left on
board of the robot to support various
reactions and feedback control. Our proposal focuses on providing self
declared semantics and
ional behaviours to things and enabling a robot work in such an intelligent environment

In the proposed infrastructure, physical objects or things in the environment will carry
interpretable information in their tags. Each tag will includ
e description about an object’s
functionalities as heuristics for planning, appearance features for its visual or tactile detection, physical
model for its recognition and localisation. In order to achieve this, we propose to define an OWL
ontology f
or distributed knowledge description. The knowledge attached to each object will greatly simplify
its recognition using low
level sensed features and provide useful heuristics for task planning.

The tag of an object will also hold a behaviour schema, which

will instruct a robot about its operation
process. Multiple objects can be self
organised together to achieve a complex task sequence. We intend to
develop an energy driven mechanism to organise distributed behaviour schemas to form a behaviour net, in
ich the executable functionality of an object is only apparent when it has enough activation energy from
goal and other objects in the environment. The behaviour net of a complex task is physically partitioned
across different objects, each containing a se
t of behaviour net fragments that are stored in the attached
wireless tag as the behaviour schema. Activation energy is spread via wireless communication across
different things. A behaviour of an object is more likely to be activated if it can better cont
ribute to the
going goal of a robot and be more relevant to the current state of the environment. A key characteristic of
behaviour networks is that behaviours that currently cannot be executed spread activation energies
backwards to predecessor behavio
urs addressing sub
goals. In a like iterative manner the whole things can
thus be self
organising for a robot to operate in sequence. Task planning for a robot is thus accomplished in
such a distributed manner spontaneously. We propose to develop an applic
ation layer for wireless
tags/sensors communication to support behaviour schema declaration and behaviour net fragment
integration. The behaviour schema attached to a thing in fact defines a clear operational plan for the robot to
interact with. Due to the

plan being embedded in individual objects, the robot will no longer need a
centralised and on
line planning that is often searched in a very large state space with very high memorial
and computational consumptions.