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Research Associate in Search Based Synthesis of Stochastic Software

University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom


Applications are invited for a Research Associate to work on the investigation and development of computational search techniques (e.g. genetic algorithms, genetic programming, simulated annealing and hill climbing) to the synthesis of software
and systems models that have stochastic elements.

Most computer languages have only constructs that are deterministic. However, effective solutions to interesting problems may involve the use of some element of randomness. The PRISM notation and model checking system provides stochastic
constructs and a means of verifying descriptions for desired properties. This post will investigate the use of meta-heuristic (and related) search techniques to discover effective descriptions involving stochastic elements.

The post holder will be expected to have a good honours degree in a scientific or engineering discipline (preferably Computer Science) together with a PhD (or close to completion) or equivalent research experience in a scientific or engineering discipline. The post holder will also be expected to have knowledge and experience of either meta-heuristic search techniques or stochastic modelling and analysis frameworks (e.g. as exemplified by the PRISM system) and will be able to develop new software and adapt available software to support the research.

The envisaged work is challenging. Though expertise in both search/optimisation and stochastic modelling and analysis domains would be advantageous, candidates with expertise in either area but with a willingness and ability to engage in the other will be considered.

The post offers the opportunity to work on a prestigious EPSRC Programme grant (Dynamic Adaptive Automated Software Engineering – DAASE) with four other Universities (Birmingham, QMUL, Stirling and UCL) and is fixed term until the end of
November 2018.

You can view the supporting documentation by clicking on About the Job and About the University located near the top of your screen.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

• To carry out leading edge research in the application of advanced search techniques to the synthesis and optimization of stochastic models and programs. This will involve planning, designing and constructing appropriate experiments.

• Perform detailed analysis of experimental results.

• Publish results in high quality outlets (conferences and journals), prepare detailed research reports where appropriate, and communicate results to non-academic audiences as required.

• Collaborate with other investigators and staff on the DAASE project for mutual benefit.

• Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.


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