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PhD Position in Geoprofile-driven Social Network Enrichment

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PhD Position in Geoprofile-driven Social Network Enrichment

Internet technologies have created a fabric for information exchange far beyond the original intent to share information between humans. It has become a landscape where entities (people, sensors, devices, observatories) generate events bound in time and by location, carving out event trajectories within a domain of activity. We are especially interested in serving space/time understanding in social networks. The proper characterization of the where-and-when of social network member activity in geoprofiles allows the optimization of communication between the members. Collecting, archiving and annotating these trajectories forms the basis for knowledge extraction and management and for the organization of social communities by mutual interest.

The PhD project aims to provide a toolset for building support systems for a networked community whose members display similar activities in similar locations and want to share content, valuations and experiences about those. Scientific challenges encountered include geo-referenced entity resolution, automatic data integration for content enrichment, information extraction, uncertainty management and data quality improvement, domain-of-activity specification, understanding user activities and routes (geoprofiling), and spatial data processing. An XML-based ETL-architecture will be developed that is based on a spatially enhanced XML DBMS and that includes a toolset to provide for development support with the above challenges when focusing on user-volunteered content.

An important point of focus of this research project is to adequately address accuracy, completeness, ambiguity, conflicts, and trust in volunteered information, geo-referencing of not explicitly geo-referenced information, and matching this against known spatial information. Volunteered spatial-temporal data will come to us in large quantities as semi-structured reports describing local context. These volunteers may not have positioning devices, or the objects described may not have been collocated with such a device, and thus such data may lack precise geo-reference. In temporal and thematic details, the reports may be similarly imprecise.

The objective of this PhD research project is to establish and validate a framework for geoprofile-driven content enrichment and data quality improvement on the basis of user-volunteered content and open spatial data services. The research is part of a larger national research project on Spatio-Temporal Data Warehousing. Validation of the framework is to be organized and executed in co-operation with the company EuroCottage (see Official Website.) in the domain of community building and holiday home location profiling. Co-operation with a concurrently running project on neogeography offers a second domain for validation: international development collaboration in agriculture.
The Database Group of the University of Twente offers a PhD position in the Dutch national project COMMIT, a 100M Euro project involving 10 universities and 70 companies. The program brings together leading researchers in search engines, parallel computing, databases, interaction in context, embedded systems and knowledge technology.

Our offer
We offer a full-time PhD position in a dynamic and international environment. The duration of the contracts is four years. The gross salary will range from € 2.042,00 in the first year to € 2.612,00 per month in the fourth year.
Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development. In addition, we offer a holiday allowance (amounts to 8%) and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% (which is approximately an extra month of salary) and a number of additional benefits. The labor agreements are in accordance with the CAO-NU for Dutch universities.

Your profile
We are looking for a candidate with an MSc. degree in computer science, databases, geo-informatics, human media interaction, software engineering, or an equivalent degree. The work involves both theory and practice (implementing a research prototype and evaluation). Affinity with web technology, user-generated content, data mining, and/or geographic information systems (GIS) is desirable. The candidate must be a team player and have good communication skills, in writing as well as oral. Your main task will be to do research, but you will be given opportunities to acquire some teaching experience.

Please use these email addresses only for obtaining Information! Dr.ir. Maurice van Keulen, email [email protected] and Dr.ir. Rolf de By, email [email protected].

If you can meet the above mentioned requirements, you are invited to submit your application letter together with:
- curriculum vitae
- a list of publications
- a list of courses you have followed (with grades)
- the names and addresses of two referees
- one or two of your research papers and/or your MSc thesis
before June 6, 2011, through the application link, below.

The Organisation
The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

In the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EWI) is the place where these three disciplines shape Information and Communication Technology at the University of Twente. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology are present, and ICT now contributes to all of societies’ activities. It is no longer about gadgets that we do or do not want to use. The real integration of ICT is just beginning. What we need is more intelligence in our systems and improvement of their natural interaction with humans.

Further Information

Application Deadline : 6 June 2011

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