[robotics-worldwide] PhD Position on Stigmergic Algorithms for Robots

Alessandro Saffiotti asaffio at aass.oru.se
Tue Jan 17 07:33:07 PST 2012


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    ***** PhD Position on Stigmergic Algorithms for Robots *****

         Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS)
                     Örebro University, Sweden
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In Short
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Applications are invited for a PhD student position in Computer Science
at Örebro University, Sweden.  The position focuses on the study of
stigmergic algorithms for robotic devices.  The main area is artificial
intelligence, but the topic also relates to theoretical computer science
and to robotics.  Research work will involve a combination of theory
development and empirical experiments.  Apply by January 28, 2012.


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In Detail
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ABOUT THE RESEARCH PROJECT:

Sigmergy is one of the many fascinating phenomena which can be observed
in nature.  Stigmergy is defined in Wikipedia as: "a mechanism of
indirect coordination between agents or actions, [in which] the trace
left in the environment by an action stimulates the performance of a
next action, by the same or a different agent".  Stigmergy has important
connections with robotics and computer science.  By stigmergy, many
simple robotic devices could, via indirect communication through the
environment, exhibit a collective behavior which is significantly more
complex than the individual behavior of each robot.

This PhD project will study stigmergic algorithms for robotic devices.
The methodology will involve a combination of theoretical and practical
investigation.  The theoretical investigation will be aimed at defining
a robotic stigmergic system, as a function of the type of robots and of
the type of stigmergic medium in which they operate; and at studying the
formal properties of such a system, e.g., which global algorithms can be
implemented in a distributed way through stigmergy, and what are the
properties of these implementations (e.g., completeness, soundness,
convergence, optimality and computational complexity).  The practical
investigation will be aimed at verifying the hypotheses generated by the
theory through experiments performed in real, physical systems.  It will
employ a floor containing a regular grid of read/write RFID tags.

The successful candidate will be employed as a PhD student with Örebro
University for an expected duration of three years.  The student is
expeted to collaborate with other international research groups
interested in the study of stigmergy in artificial systems.  A small
amount of teaching may also be part of the PhD student's duties.

ABOUT THE WORKING PLACE:

Örebro University (www.oru.se) 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 can be found at http://aass.oru.se/CRS.

PREREQUISITES AND APPLICATION PROCESS:

In addition to a clear interest in the above research topics, the
successful applicant must have an excellent background in mathematics
and computer science, and good programming skills.  A Master's in
computer science, computer engineering or comparable field is required.
We particularly seek candidates with good knowledge of artificial
intelligence and with inclinations towards cross-disciplinary research.
Previous experience with robotics is a plus.  Knowledge of the Swedish
language is not required, but proficiency in written and spoken English
is mandatory.

To apply for a position, please send the following material by e-mail to
Prof. Alessandro Saffiotti <alessandro.saffiotti at aass.oru.se>.

1) a motivation letter;
2) an updated CV;
3) at least two academic references;
4) a transcipt of your BS and MSc courses;
5) an electronic copy of your MSc thesis
6) an electronic copy of any publications you might have.

Applications can be sent immediately and until January 28, 2012.  Late
application cannot be considered.

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

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