Postdoc in AI and Multi-Agent Systems

Postdoc in AI and Multi-Agent Systems

Published Deadline Location
29 May 21 Jun Amsterdam

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Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has a vacancy in the “Intelligent and Autonomous Systems” research group for a talented Postdoc in AI and multi-agent systems.

Job description

The world of peer-to-peer trading is changing rapidly. Whereas in the past, people would contact their vendors personally over phone or e-mail, online peer-to-peer trading platforms now make it possible for vendors to match and discover supply and demand in a more effective and scalable way. This creates a new opportunity to use artificial intelligence techniques and negotiation agents that can support vendors in their negotiations and eventually make deals autonomously on their behalf. This requires a combination of a state-of-the-art multi-agent and machine learning techniques that can support the user in making efficient offers and learn the preferences of the user as well as of the trading partners.

The aim of the vacant position is to develop fundamental and applicable solutions for agent negotiations within a new online trading platform. Depending on the interests and expertise of the candidate, the project draws on tools and techniques from artificial intelligence, multi-agent learning, preference modeling and elicitation, machine learning, automated negotiation, decision support systems, and sequential multi-agent decision-making under uncertainty. One of the scientific challenges in this project will be to formulate long-term negotiation strategies that can strike partial deals with multiple partners under preference uncertainty, motivated by the challenge of autonomously representing a user in repeated one-to-many negotiations.

The research will focus on the following aspects:

  1. Developing agent models for one-to-many automated negotiation to help negotiate complex trading deals with multiple partners;
  2. Establishing new machine learning techniques that are able to estimate the opponent’s preference from multiple, short interactions;
  3. Developing active preference elicitation models in order to accurately represent and support users by a negotiating agent;
  4. Designing new negotiation strategies and planning algorithms for multi-issue negotiations in an environment with multiple trading parties and large product portfolios. The purpose is to develop optimal solutions for trading scenarios with high degrees of complexity.

The project is a collaboration between CWI and an ambitious start-up company Acumex, which has built the first online negotiation platform for complex trading goods. This platform replaces the old trading paradigm with a more streamlined cloud-based approach that allows a structured approach to peer-to-peer trading processes and real-time online negotiations. The vacant position will primarily devise algorithms and experiments for online preference and strategy elicitation and distributed negotiations in face of uncertainty, and will closely collaborate with other project team members for the implementation of experimental tests.

The successful applicant will contribute to the research group's ambition to develop and mature fundamental principles that find applications in practical intelligent and autonomous systems. The position is embedded in a diverse team of motivated junior and senior researchers with experience and ongoing complementary projects on topics such as multi-agent learning, autonomous representation, negotiation, smart energy systems, and more. Group alumni have moved on to excellent positions in academia and industry, making it a cornerstone in their career path.


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)


Candidates are required to have a completed PhD in the area of computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, or a related field. Candidates should have a clear interest in fundamental research, should be creative and solid in their research, should have interest in multi-agent systems and in the application area of negotiation and trading, should be able to cooperate with experts from different disciplines, and should be experienced in programming (preferably object-oriented, e.g. Java, C#). Needed qualifications for candidates include proven research talent and good academic writing and presentation skills. Candidates are expected to have an excellent command of English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The gross monthly salary for an employee on a full time basis, depending on relevant work experience, ranges from € 3,653 to € 4,452. The appointment will be for 20 months, with a preferred starting date of 1 August 2020.

Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is part of the Institutes Organisation of NWO. The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses.

CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam, the home of AMS-IX, that is presently developing into a major location of research in the physical sciences in the Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.


Research group

To find more information about the group, please visit the group page and watch their video



  • Postdoc; Research, development, innovation
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3653—€4452 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT Postdoc AI


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)

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Science Park 123, 1098 XG, Amsterdam

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