PhD position in Explainable Combinatorial Optimisation

PhD position in Explainable Combinatorial Optimisation

Published Deadline Location
14 Jul 21 Aug Delft
PhD position on the intersection between combinatorial optimisation, AI, and explainability

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to work on the intersection between combinatorial optimisation, AI, and explainability. Modern optimisation methods are invaluable in assisting decision-makers in complex problems with difficult constraints, e.g., scheduling, production-planning, logistics, and transportation. However a glaring problem is that, even though the final solutions provided by the algorithms may be optimised, it may be difficult to understand why the reasoning behind the algorithmic decisions. This is particularly a problem in cases where the algorithm is expected to interact with a human decision-maker who needs to justify the decisions to relevant stakeholders.  

The goal of the project is to develop novel combinatorial optimisation methods that not only exhibit excellent performance, but also concisely break down the main factors behind automated decision-making in a way that is easy for humans to interpret.

The ideal candidate has excellent algorithmic and programming skills, as demonstrated through projects or programming competitions. Knowledge on formal reasoning, logic, and SAT solving is highly desirable, as well as knowledge on operations research and constraint programming. Candidate lacking skills in one area may make up for it with a strong background in another area. Willingness to contribute to teaching is also important.

The candidate with join the newly formed XAIT Delft AI Lab alongside three other PhD students. The aim of the lab is to develop novel approaches that focus on the explainable aspect of artificial intelligence for transportation and other civil engineering problems and promote AI-related education. XAIT is led by Panchamy Krishnakumari (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences: Department of Transport and Planning) and Emir Demirović (Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science: Department of Software and Computer Technology).

The position is for five years. The extra year compared to the usual four-year contract accommodates the 20% additional AI-related education related activities.

The PhD student will be supervised by Dr Emir Demirović and Dr Gonçalo Correia at TU Delft (The Netherlands).

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

Key requirements:

  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics, or a closely related field
  • Excellent algorithmic and programming skills
  • Fluency in English

Desirable skills:

  • Knowledge of formal reasoning, logic, and/or Satisfiability (SAT) solving
  • Knowledge of combinatorial optimisation, e.g., operations research, constraint programming
  • Programming in C/C++
  • Teaching experience, e.g., working as a teaching assistant for a course.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 5-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 3,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

You will be deployed for AI-related education for the usual teaching effort for PhD candidates in the faculty plus an additional 20%. The extra year compared to the usual 4-year contract accommodates the 20% additional AI, Data and Digitalisation education related activities. All team members have many opportunities for self-development. You will be a member of the thriving TU Delft AI Lab community that fosters cross-fertilization between talents with different expertise and disciplines

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Department

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr Emir Demirović.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Sophie Den Hartog. 

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02309

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you

X

Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before August 21, 2022 via the application button.

Please attach the following documents:

  • CV
  • Transcript of grades along with a description of the scores
  • Master thesis (or draft if not yet submited), or a comparable document demonstrating your scientific and writing skills
  • Summary of other scientific works (if applicable)
  • Motivation letter explaining your interest for this specific position (generic motivation letters that do not relate to the position will be discarded)

The aim is to conduct interviews in the second half of August. The ideal starting time is shortly after but can be negotiated.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before August 21, 2022 via the application button.

Please attach the following documents:

  • CV
  • Transcript of grades along with a description of the scores
  • Master thesis (or draft if not yet submited), or a comparable document demonstrating your scientific and writing skills
  • Summary of other scientific works (if applicable)
  • Motivation letter explaining your interest for this specific position (generic motivation letters that do not relate to the position will be discarded)

The aim is to conduct interviews in the second half of August. The ideal starting time is shortly after but can be negotiated.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Make sure to apply no later than 21 Aug 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).