PhD Studentship: Dynamic Architectures for Computational Self-Awareness

Aston University - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the ALICE Research Group, Aston University.  The successful applicant will join an established group working on computational intelligence and self-aware computing.

The position is available to start in January 2017 (subject to negotiation)

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary for the home/EU fees rate, plus maintenance allowance (£15,850 in 2016/17).

Applicants from outside the EU may apply but should pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and ‘Overseas’ tuition fees (£11,729 in 2016/17). As part of your application please confirm you have applied for/secured this additional funding.

Background of the Project

Computational systems increasingly face the challenge of performing effectively, efficiently, robustly and flexibly in a complex interconnected world, where they interact with people, each other, the economy and the climate. This leads to uncertainties that are difficult to understand and predict. Computational self-awareness refers to characteristics of computational systems that are inspired by self-awareness concepts in humans and animals [1], and is a direct attempt to face this challenge. Systems with computational self-awareness learn and adapt during their lifetime on an ongoing basis, based on their sensed experiences and the internal models that they build. In doing so, they can achieve high levels of adaptivity in the face of unknown situations, and the ability to explain their decisions.

The core aim of this project is to develop a new, dynamic approach to the architecture of self-aware computing systems. This will allow runtime reconfiguration of the learning architecture, to suit varying situations. It is expected that this will allow for highly scalable adaptive behaviour, while ensuring that resource efficiency is achieved.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with Airbus, through which project results will be demonstrated and evaluated in an avionics test-bed (drones). The successful candidate will be based at Aston University, UK, but expected to travel occasionally to Airbus’s premises in Munich, Germany, with the potential for longer visits.

[1] Peter R. Lewis, Arjun Chandra, Funmilade Faniyi, Kyrre Glette, Tao Chen, Rami Bahsoon, Jim Torresen and Xin Yao, Architectural Aspects of Self-Aware and Self-Expressive Systems: From Psychology to Engineering, Computer, 48(7), pp 62-70. IEEE Press, 2015.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in Computer Science or a related subject.  Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of computational intelligence, machine learning, agents/multi-agent systems. 

We particularly encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers.  Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS. We pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

For initial enquiries about this project prior to application and other opportunities within the ALICE Research Group, contact Dr Peter Lewis:

The application form, reference forms and entry requirements, including English language are available here.

Applications must be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research, explaining how your knowledge/experience will benefit the project.

Details of how to write your project proposal are also included in the How to Apply section.

Closing Date: 14 November 2016.

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