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PhD positions in knowledge engineering, Bolzano (Italy), Deadline: 1 Jul 2022
PhD opportunity on “strategy and explainability for knowledge bases” at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy
The Faculty of Computer Science of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
(unibz) offers 21 three-year grants for its PhD programme.
The KRDB Research Centre for Knowledge and Data of the faculty is looking
specifically for candidates suitable for a PhD project titled: “Strategy
and Explainability for Knowledge Bases”.
Description: This research project is about advancing the reasoning with
conflicting knowledge, both in the strong sense of inconsistency, and in
weaker varieties that involve conceptual clashes, empty concepts, or
over-commitments. It focuses on bringing together three recent strands of
research, namely 1) methods to weight information, 2) methods to weaken
axioms, and 3) methods to negotiate or play games with information.
The general application area is knowledge engineering, in particular
providing solutions to the problem of resolving inconsistent information
when an agent adds new knowledge to a knowledge base. But additionally,
this entails the problem of explaining why a certain combination of
knowledge is inconsistent, and it requires explaining or justifying the
Weighted logic focuses on the idea that different pieces of information
have different values, or weights, reflecting a very natural idea from
common sense reasoning. Axiom weakening allows for a fine-grained repair
of inconsistent knowledge bases. Its main advantage is that it repairs
them by making axioms less restrictive rather than by deleting them.
Typical research questions are: - Strategic reasoning: How can the
techniques from multiagent systems and game theory be applied to problems
of collaborative ontology engineering and concept combination? E.g., how
can different agents agree on the weight of a particular piece of
information? - Explainability: How can we best combine the ideas of
weighted logic, where different pieces of information have different
weights, and refinement, where we specialize or generalize our
information? How can we explain and justify the weakening of information?
Required skills: In general, applicants for this project are expected to
have some good acquaintance with classical logic and its syntax and
semantics. More advanced knowledge of proof methods, meta-theory, and
non-classical logic will be a plus. The ideal candidate will already have
some background in agents or game theory as well as KR languages such as
description logics. Programming skills: experience with programming would
be valuable, particularly for the purpose of carrying out evaluation
studies and improving research prototypes.
About the grant: Each grant amounts to 51,000 € (i.e., 17,000 euros per
year, net after taxes); for research visits abroad, the grant increases up
to 50%. Additional substantial extra funding (including a personal budget
of 2,500 euros per year) is available for participation in international
conferences, schools, workshops, and research visits.
Applications: The deadline for applications will be on the 1st of July
2022. (Applicants must have completed their Master’s degree at the time of
enrolment by the 31st of October.)
For more information, the call, and applications look at:
++ About Bolzano and unibz: The university is located in one of the most
fascinating European regions, the tri-lingual South Tyrol. This young
university has already established itself as an important research
institution, both in Italy and abroad, and is accordingly highly evaluated
in several international rankings. The KRDB Research Centre for Knowledge
and Data of the faculty of Computer Science is widely recognised as one of
the internationally leading groups in Artificial Intelligence and
Knowledge Representation research, with a synergy between foundational and
application-oriented research. The city of Bozen-Bolzano, the capital of
South Tyrol, has exceptional standards of living, and is a beautiful
Italian city of mixed Austrian-Italian cultural heritage, and perfectly
located in the Dolomites mountains, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Contact the supervisors: Oliver Kutz
firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> and Nicolas Troquard
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