"Multi-objective Optimisation and Multi-criteria Decision-Making"
The University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School, UK
This PhD scholarship offers three years’ funding, including tuition fees and
annual stipend of £14,777 for candidates commencing their studies in September
2018. The successful candidate will receive a generous research support and
conference allowance, and have access to a robust doctoral research training
programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills,
visiting speaker seminar programme, and associate with existing research
centres and groups. Students are encouraged to undertake training and
development in teaching and deliver teaching/research assistantship duties on a
paid basis to further enhance their experience in preparation for their future
*** Application deadline: July 18th ***
In many strategic problems in logistics, managements, planning, and
manufacturing, a Decision Maker (DM) must find solutions that optimise
multiple, conflicting criteria and decide among them, which nowadays often
involves the DM interacting with some automated process implemented as a
Multi-criteria Decision-Making and Optimisation algorithm, such as interactive
multi-objective evolutionary algorithms. In reality, decision-making is
influenced by human factors (cognitive biases, fatigue, mistakes) that have
been thoroughly studied in behavioural economics and psychology. The design of
algorithms able to cope with these human factors remains an open challenge.
This project aims to devise realistic, general “simulations” of DMs (machine
DMs) that explicitly model these human factors as configurable parameters,
independent of specific preferences. Machine DMs will enable the empirical
analysis of algorithms with respect to particular human factors. Parameters of
machine DMs may be explicitly set to mimic human behaviours (e.g. risk-averse
vs. risk-seeking). The ultimate goal is the development of the next generation
of data analytics and decision support methods that adapt to the human factors
prominent on particular problem scenarios, thus helping humans to make better
Applications are sought from exceptional UK, EU and international students with
an outstanding academic background, ideally in Computer Science, Mathematics,
Operations Research, Data Science, Business Analytics, Industrial Engineering,
Economics, or other discipline within business and operations management. The
successful candidate must have a strong programming background
(C/C++/Java/R/Python) and good analytical and communication skills. An
understanding of multi-objective optimisation techniques and/or multi-criteria
decision-making is highly desirable.
Applicants must have a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or
equivalent) and hold or expect to obtain a Masters qualification with
Distinction. English Language requirements (where required) are IELTS 7.0,
TOEFL 623 (100 ibt), PTE 66.
As a PhD student, you will become a member of the Decision and Cognitive
Sciences Research Centre (https://research.mbs.ac.uk/decision-science/), which
is a multi-disciplinary research centre with members from Manchester Business
School and the School of Computer Science doing research on decision science,
data analytics, machine learning and optimisation, among other topics.
The University of Manchester (UoM) is the largest university in UK in terms of
number of full-time students. The UoM is a major centre for research and a
member of the Russell Group of leading British research universities. In terms
of research output, it has been ranked third in the UK, after Oxford and Cambridge.
Manchester is a modern and vibrant city, with many green spaces, a varied
cultural offer, art and music events (www.visitmanchester.com). Manchester is
an international destination with an infrastructure comparable to any city in
Europe. The city has an international airport that connects with other major
cities in Europe and around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: The instructions say to submit a PhD application for the PhD Business &
Management. Does this mean that this is a PhD in Management?
A: Not at all. This is just the way the application process is structured at
AMBS. In this context, "Business & Management" include topics as broad as data
science, decision science, optimisation, mathematical programming, game theory,
decision-making, and machine learning. The topic of your PhD degree will be
defined by the contents of your thesis. Applications from students with
knowledge on the topics of Computer Science, Mathematics, Operations Research,
Data Science, Business Analytics, Industrial Engineering, Economics, etc., are
Q: The project seems to involve behavioural economics and psychology. I don't
know much about either. Should I still apply?
A: Definitely apply. Learning about the small subset of psychology that is
relevant for multi-objective optimisation is part of the project. The project
is not about doing new research on behavioural economics and psychology, but
rather about how to use classical results from those fields and apply them to
Q: Will I have opportunities for teaching?
A: Yes, you will be given training for teaching, funding for attending to
conferences and the opportunity of collaborating with top-level researchers.
How to apply:
Dr Manuel López-Ibáñez | Lecturer at the Decision and Cognitive Sciences
Research Centre | Alliance Manchester Business School | The University of
Manchester | F29, Booth St East, Manchester M13 9SS, UK | +44 (0) 16130 68996 |
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