There is a fully-funded (only for EU/UK students) PhD studentship available at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Liverpool on Models and Algorithms for Systems of Programmable Particles.
We are looking for candidates holding a BSc degree in Computer Science or other closely related field, who are passionate and highly motivated for pursuing a PhD in Computer Science and having a strong relevant background (example topics: sequential/distributed algorithms, computability/complexity theory, modelling computing systems, graphs/networks, analysis and formal proofs).
The project will investigate the algorithmic framework necessary for the development of systems of programmable particles. These are roughly systems of tiny and computationally weak entities equipped with computing and possibly also actuation capabilities. Additionally, some of these systems are typically highly dynamic both in space and time. During the project the student is expected to explore topics from the related areas of Population Protocols and Network Constructors, Dynamic Networks, Discrete Dynamic Systems, and Algorithmic properties of Programmable Matter.
The student apart from working on existing models and problems from the state of the art will have the opportunity to develop a set of novel reasonable models that capture well essential parameters of emerging and future systems. For each of these models, we shall explore adaptations of existing problems as well as identify and formulate naturally occurring new problems, investigate feasibility and efficiency questions, develop a wide range of centralised and distributed algorithms, and consider relationships between the various models (e.g., through simulation relations, characterisations, and complexity classes).
D. Angluin, J. Aspnes, Z. Diamadi, M.J. Fischer, and R. Peralta. Computation in networks of passively mobile finite-state sensors. Distributed Computing, 18(4), 235-253, 2006.
F. Kuhn, N. Lynch, and R. Oshman. Distributed computation in dynamic networks. Proceedings of the 42nd ACM symposium on Theory of computing (STOC), 513-522 2010.
O. Michail, G. Skretas, and P.G. Spirakis: On the transformation capability of feasible mechanisms for programmable matter. Proceedings of the 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP), 136:1–136:15, 2017.
O. Michail and P.G. Spirakis: Elements of the Theory of Dynamic Networks. Commun. ACM, 61(2), 72-81, 2018.
O. Michail and P.G. Spirakis. Simple and efficient local codes for distributed stable network construction. Distributed Computing, 29(3), 207-237, 2016.
Holding an MSc in Computer Science or other closely related field is not necessary for applying to this position (but will be taken into account). Candidates are also expected to have reasonable programming skills, to be willing to get involved in interdisciplinary collaborations which are already in place, and to acquire new knowledge ranging from theoretical aspects to applied issues and experimentation.
More information: https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=98629
Deadline for applying: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 Applications now open through university's central application system: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/applying/online/
(Mention School of EEE/CS and my name in your application)