Holland: PhD student Agent Technology

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The Intelligent Systems group has acquired
funding from The Dutch Research Council NWO for a four-year PhD project
with the title "Agents Interacting in Dialogues with Argumentation".

This project concerns the following problem. The world of software
systems increasingly consists of autonomous artificial agents
interacting in open, dynamic and unpredictable environments, such as
the Internet. In such environments it is often impossible to predict
all interactions the agents will have so that a centralised
architecture is not feasible. Therefore, the agents’ interactive
behaviour must become more intelligent and flexible. For this reason,
intelligent communicative interaction between artificial agents is a
key research issue in artificial intelligence and agent technology.
Communication languages, protocols and strategies have been studied for
various types of agent interaction, such as information exchange,
negotiation, and collaborative problem solving.

In this field there is a particularly marked interest in the role
of argumentation, i.e., the process in which agents present arguments
in support of their own opinions or in attack of those of other agents.
Argumentation is often claimed to promote more efficient dialogues or
dia­logues with better outcomes. However, so far there has been little
research on whether these advantages of argumentation indeed obtain.

This research project aims to fill this gap. The main research
question therefore is: is the use of argumentation in dialogical
interaction between artificial agents be­ne­ficial for the agents or
the community in which they operate? This question will be answered
with systematic simulation experiments, in which forms of interaction
with and without argumentation will be compared on their efficiency and
quality of outcome. The research will thus contribute to a
computational theory of effective communication between intelligent
artificial agents.


University Graduate
The candidate should
have a Msc Degree in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence, good
programming skills, and an interest in multi-agent systems research,
both from a formal and a computational perspective.


Utrecht University
The Faculty of Science consists of six
departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Information and
Computing Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Mathematics.
The Faculty is home to 3500 students and nearly 2000 staff and is
internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty’s
academic programmes reflect developments in today’s society.

The department Information and Computing Sciences is looking for a:

PhD student Agent Technology

Conditions of employment

Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2500 – 3000
Salaryscale 10.
Maximum salary amount in Euro’s a month 2558
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: 4 years
Maximum hours per week: 38

Additional conditions of employment:
candidate is offered a full-time position for four years. The gross
salary is in the range between € 2,000.- per month in the first year
and € 2,558.- per month in the fourth year of appointment.

The salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an
end-of-year bonus of 6,4% per year. In addition we offer: a pension
scheme, a partially paid parental leave, flexible employment conditions
in which you may trade salary for vacation days or vice versa.
Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the
Dutch Universities. The research group will provide the candidate with
necessary support on all aspects of the project.

Additional Information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Prof. Dr. H. (Henry) Prakken
E-mail address: henry@cs.uu.nl

+31 (0)30 253 2313 (not on Thursdays)

Or additional information can be obtained through one of the following links.

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You can apply for this job before 12-09-2008 by sending your application to:

Faculty of Science
Personnel Department
Budapestlaan 6
3584 CD Utrecht

E-mail address: Science.PenO@uu.nl

Please send your application including a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and contact details of at least two references.

When applying for this job always mention the vacancy number 62812.


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