Universiteit van Amsterdam

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PhD position in Knowledge Representation, VU Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Deadline: Thursday 20 October 2016

Applications are invited for a PhD position with the Knowledge Representation Group in the area of logics for (VERY) large knowledge bases at the VU in Amsterdam.

Symbolic representations in AI have always benefited from their firm foundations in logic, be they classical or non-classical logics. This was fine when knowlege bases could be assumed to be consistent, coherent, homogeneous, and relatively small.

However, in the past decade the use of semantic web technologies has lead to knowledge bases which contain millions of rules and hundreds of millions of facts. At such a size, the logical foundations are beginning to give in. Such very large knowledge bases can no longer be assumed to be consistent, they are very heterogeneous, they have a clustered network structure, and distance in the knowledge network begins to matter.

We are looking for a PhD student with a strong background in logic who wants to work with us on developing logic-based tools that are suited for these very large knowledge bases. Can we formalise the meaning of network clusters as context? Can we formalise network distance as semantic distance? Can we formulate local notions of coherence and consistency? Besides a background in logic, we are looking for an interest in applying logic to real-world problems (pure mathematicians need not apply) and an open mind for the algorithmic side of logical formalisms.

The Knowledge Representation Group at the VU is one of the worldleaders in semantic web technologies, applying logical formalisms to very large knowledge bases. The PhD position is funded from a prestigious NWO TOP grant. You will be working in a collaborative and international team.

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