PhD studentship in "Optimization algorithms for the automatic design of robot swarms"
We are recruiting a PhD student with a background in optimization / operations research. The PhD student will perform their research in the framework of the DEMIURGE project,
a research project funded by the European Commission via an ERC Consolidator Grant.
The scope of the DEMIURGE project is the automatic design of robot swarms.
Our goal is to advance the state of the art in swarm robotics by developing the DEMIURGE:
an intelligent system that is able to design and realize robot swarms in a totally integrated and automatic way.
The DEMIURGE is a novel concept.
Starting from requirements expressed in an appropriate specification language,
the DEMIURGE will design all aspects of a robot swarm: hardware and control software.
It will do so by automatically casting the design problem into an optimization problem and tackling it in a computation-intensive way.
The DEMIURGE will not create the design of a robot swarm from scratch:
it will operate on a number of preexisting software and hardware modules.
It will obtain candidate designs by properly assembling these modules and fine-tuning their parameters.
The DEMIURGE project is hosted by IRIDIA, the artificial intelligence laboratory of the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
IRIDIA is a leading laboratory that is world-renowned for its contributions to swarm intelligence, collective robotics, and automatic design/fine-tuning of algorithms.
The research to be performed by the PhD student will focus mostly on:
- the definition and implementation of the optimization algorithm used by the DEMIURGE to obtain the desired design;
- the analysis of the search landscape generated by the software and hardware modules on which the DEMIURGE operates;
- the development of an effective local search algorithm to move in such a landscape;
- the development of algorithms for the run-time optimization of behaviors;
- the empirical assessment of the proposed algorithms.
Profile, skills, and experience
- Master degree in computer science / mathematics / physics / artificial intelligence / engineering
- Background in optimization algorithms, metaheuristics, local search, mixed-variable optimization
- Experience/interest in automatic design of algorithms
- Proficiency in English; excellent oral communication and writing skills
Studentship of 4 years.
Estimated net monthly allowance: 1880 EUR.
The Université libre de Bruxelles is an equal opportunity employer.
- inspiring, dynamic, and intellectually challenging research environment
- international and interdisciplinary research team
- resources for short visits abroad, participation in conferences, and open-access journal publication
- social security coverage including medical insurance, parental leave, and child benefits.
Unemployment benefits and retirement pension are included for EU citizens and citizens of several
non-EU countries that have a bilateral social security agreement with Belgium
- insurance against accidents in the workplace
- tax exemption
- low-cost private hospitalization insurance
- on-site services at the ULB including: medical centre, university hospital, sports centre,
subsidized restaurants, cultural centre, crèche, and activities for children
How to apply
Applicants should send an email to email@example.com including:
- a motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
- CV and list of publications
- a writing sample — e.g, a chapter of the master thesis (between 10 and 30 pages)
- names of two academic/professional references — after a pre-selection, we might ask the applicant to provide a letter from these references
August 15, 2017. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The position will remain open until filled by a suitable candidate
See http://demiurge.be and/or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org