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PhD position available



Hi all,
i'm looking for a candidate for a PhD position in computer science
between France and Vietnam related to disaster management (a very
important topic for Vietnam). The description of the subject is below.
If you are interested by this position, send me a message ASAP.

Best regards,
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IRIT laboratory of Université  of Toulouse and UMMISCO research team
invite applicants for a PhD. position related to disaster management
and computer science.

PhD Thesis title: Models/Forms of coordination for crisis resolution:
analysis, discovery and efficiency

Supervisors' names: Pr. Chihab Hanachi (Université de Toulouse), Dr.
Ho Tuong and Dr. Serge Stinckwich (UMMISCO, Vietnam)

Scientific domain : crisis management, computer science.

Subject
In a crisis context (natural or industrial disasters, violence
explosion, ...), different actors (e.g. the police, firefighters, NGO)
are called to reduce the crisis and stabilize its impact on the real
world. Their interventions take the form of operational processes by
each actor according to its responsibilities, tasks and resources,
each of them exploiting its own information system. The coordination
of these actors and their interventions is crucial in order to ease an
efficient control and resolution of the crisis. Usually, this
coordination may take two different forms:

- An explicit coordination provided by a central crisis command
center, steering the crisis, which in the French context, for example,
may be composed of a prefet (state's representative in a departement)
and representatives of institutions involved in resolving the crisis.
In this case, coordination is supported by a collaborative process
(supported by a set of official plans) to orchestrate the different
partners operations, while respecting the autonomy of their actions,
according to their expertises and responsibilities. This process is
most often adapted to cope with a dynamic, unstable and unpredictable
environment, due to the impact and evolution of the crisis, but also
to the heterogeneity and multiplicity of stakeholders and their
possible geographical dispersion.

- Sometimes, especially during major natural disasters, coordination
may be implicit (no preset plans, ineffective authorities, ...).
Interactions can emerge between several institutions and voluntary
organizations, involved in resolving the crisis. In this case,
coordination is partly governed by the different actors strategies or
personal interests . There is no more a centralized schema.

These two forms of coordination may also co-exist and the question of
their interaction and coherence is raised. How to take into account
emerging social events in predefined formal procedures which did not
plan these phenomena ? How to deal with the entrance and departure of
uncontrolled actors during the crisis management ? In this thesis
proposal, we are interested (research project) by distributed
information gathering (testimonies of people, pictures taken by phone,
data from sensors, ...) which can be seen as a form of distributed
problem solving where coordinated sources of information have to
cooperate to form a whole picture of the crisis at given time. The
scientific aims of the thesis are the design and implementation of
models and algorithms enabling :

1) The analysis of relationships between information collected in the
field: facilitation, interference, aggregation, independence (or
interdependence), uncertainties, ... It is also necessary to take into
account the temporal aspect of information.

2) The identification of formal coordination models dedicated to the
crisis resolution (coordination processes, organizational structures
and networks of actors, interaction protocols). This step, based on an
analysis of the nature of information flows between actors, should
allow to identify generic structures that can be formalized into
models.

3) The analysis of coordination efficiency. By analyzing actors
effectiveness in terms of ressources management and accuracy to
represent the reality, we would like to compare the different
coordination models. This analysis aims at suggesting process
improvements and good practices in terms of coordination. This can be
done through simulations using individual-centered approaches.

References for the PhD thesis

- Benaben, C. Hanachi, M. Lauras, P. Couget, V. Chapurlat, "A
Metamodel and Its Ontology Guide to Crisis and Its Characterization
Collaborative Management", Proceedings of the 5th International
Conference ISCRAM, 2008.
- Issam Bouslimi, Chihab Hanachi, Hassan Tout, Khaled Ghedira.
Coordination Framework for Cooperative Information Gathering. In:
International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Inderscience
Publishers, V. 1 N. 1, p. 60-79, 2008.

This PhD thesis will be conducted in the framework of a sandwich PhD
Programme between France and Vietnam and under the supervision of Pr.
Chihab Hanachi (Université  de Toulouse I-Capitole, IRIT, France) as
well as Dr. Ho Tuong Vinh and Dr. Serge Stinckwich from UMMISCO (IRD,
Vietnam).

Requirements
The candidates must have a strong background in Software Engineering
and Computer Science, and hold an MSc or equivalent diploma. Some
experience with research is a plus, especially for engineers. English
writing fluency is a must. English speaking fluency is necessary,
especially if the applicant does not speak French. Applicants should
send ASAP their application, the curriculum vitae, statement of
research interests as a PDF attachment, to Dr. Ho Tuong Vinh
([email protected]). A recommendation letter from a professor is
a plus.

-- 
Serge Stinckwich
UMI UMMISCO 209 (IRD/UPMC), Hanoi, Vietnam
Every DSL ends up being Smalltalk
http://doesnotunderstand.org/