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Subject:

EPSRC PhD Studentship at UWE Bristol: Mathematical Modelling and Artificial Intelligence applied to Statistical Disclosure Control.

From:

Alistair Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alistair Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 9 May 2007 19:16:25 +0100

Content-Type:

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EPSRC PhD Studentship at UWE Bristol. 
 
Project: Mathematical Modelling and Artificial Intelligence  
applied to Statistical Disclosure Control. 
 
This interdisciplinary PhD programme, based at the  
University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), will be  
grounded in the fields of Mathematical Modelling and  
Artificial Intelligence. It is funded via the EPSRC’s  
Mathematical CASE programme, and has been designed to  
provide the research student with substantial modelling and  
algorithmic knowledge in the areas of mathematical  
programming, combinatorial optimisation, evolutionary  
algorithms, and statistical analysis. They will also gain  
valuable experience and skills from working in two large  
organisations with different cultures. 
 
In today’s “Knowledge Economy”, many organisations hold  
large amounts of data gathered from a variety of sources,  
some of which they wish to publish, sell, or otherwise  
exploit and disseminate, whilst respecting the privacy of  
individual sources. One such example is the UK’s Office for  
National Statistics (ONS), which often needs to protect the  
confidentiality of “sensitive” data in published tables,  
achieving this via a number of approaches collectively known  
as Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC). The sheer size of  
the tables means that existing methods are no longer  
possible to use, and so there is a need for novel approaches  
to this problem based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). 
 
The project concerns the development of new mathematical  
models of how accurately a malicious “attacker” can estimate  
the value of data in sensitive cells in a table. Building on  
this the project will then develop AI techniques for SDC  
based on simulated evolution which can be used to create  
tables in which confidentiality is protected. The project  
will build on an existing collaboration between Bristol UWE  
and ONS which has generated experience in this area, and  
substantial research expertise in Mathematical Modelling (Dr  
Alistair Clark at UWE) and Evolutionary Computation (Dr Jim  
Smith at UWE). 
 
This project will be undertaken within Network Analysis &  
Optimisation group  
(www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/amg/network_analysis.htm) and the the  
Artificial Intelligence group (www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/aig) at  
UWE in collaboration with the UK Office for National  
Statistics (ONS). The student will spend time both at UWE’s  
Frenchay campus in Bristol, and ONS, primarily in their  
Newport offices.  The Artificial Intelligence group is a  
lively interdisciplinary group with close links to other  
research groups both in the Faculty, regionally, and  
internationally, and the student will also benefit from the  
support and activities of the Faculty’s Graduate School. 
 
The three and a half-year studentship covers tuition fees  
and provides a maintenance stipend of £14,600 per year. 
 
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a good  
honours degree (minimum 2.i) or Masters in Electronic  
Engineering, Computer Science, Operational Research,  
Mathematics or a related discipline, have good analytical  
and programming skills and a strong interest in mathematical  
programming modelling and artificial intelligence. Previous  
experience of mathematical modelling tools such as AMPL,  
optimisation solvers such as Cplex, and of programming in  
C/C++ would be an advantage. The candidate must also have a  
positive attitude toward interdisciplinary research and  
teamwork.  A recognised English language qualification  
(minimum IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 600) is required if English is not  
the candidate’s first language. For informal enquiries  
please contact Dr Jim Smith, preferably by email:  
[log in to unmask] 
 
For application forms, please contact the Graduate School  
Office, Faculty of Computing Engineering and Mathematical  
Sciences via email [log in to unmask] or telephone  
(+44) 0117 32 83580. 
 
Please submit applications by 30th May 2007. 
 
--  
Dr. Alistair Clark, 
Principal Lecturer in Operational Research, 
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, 
University of the West of England, 
Bristol, BS16 1QY, England. 
tel: +44 (0) 117 328 3134 
fax: +44 (0) 117 328 2734 
e-mail: [log in to unmask] 
http://www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/~arclark/ 
 
 
 
 
This email was independently scanned for viruses by McAfee anti-virus software and none were found 

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