PhD position on Non-Monotonic Reasoning for Personal Agents

I have a fully-funded 4-year PhD position available to investigate the application of non-monotonic reasoning techniques for user modelling in personal agents.

Project: Hybrid Intelligence 
Keywords: non-monotonic reasoning, computational logic, user modelling
Offer: fully funded 4-year PhD position at University of Twente, The Netherlands

Deadline for application: February 11th, 2022

Job description

Digital information technology is increasingly interwoven with our society and individuals’ daily lives. With these digital technologies tracking and influencing our everyday behavior, they should align with the user’s needs and values. To achieve this, personal agents need to model the user’s informational and motivational attitudes such as goals, values, norms, beliefs, and their interrelations in order to derive support actions that are aligned with the user. This is challenging because 1) conflicts may occur in the user’s motivations, and 2) the user’s state and motivations may change over time and in different contexts. 

We offer a fully funded 4-year PhD position to investigate how non-monotonic reasoning techniques such as belief revision, argumentation, defeasible reasoning, inconsistency handling, and reasoning about actions can be employed for user modelling in the context of personal agents. Questions that can be addressed are for example: Which types of update operations on user models are required? Is a new norm in conflict with existing desired behaviors? Can belief revision techniques be adapted for run-time norm revision? With this we lay the foundations for flexible and value-aligned personal agents that give people agency over their lives with digital technology.

The position is associated with the Hybrid Intelligence Centre, a 10-year Dutch national research program which investigates how we can create AI that augments, instead of replaces human intelligence.


The prospective candidate is expected to perform and publish high quality and internationally visible research, and be involved in teaching and student supervision to a limited extent. 


  • You hold or will soon hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, artificial intelligence, or a related field;
  • You have excellent proficiency in English in speaking and writing (C1; above IELTS 7 or equivalent);
  • You have good communication skills, take initiative, and have an interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • You have interest and some experience in one or more of the following, or related topics: logic-based agents, knowledge representation and reasoning, formal methods, or non-monotonic reasoning.

What we offer 

The position is embedded in the Human Media Interaction (HMI) department at University of Twente. HMI is a friendly and welcoming research group, with attention to employee wellbeing. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include: 

  • A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.
  • The salary will range from € 2.434,- (1st year) to € 3.111,- (4th year) per month, plus a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • a minimum of 29 leave days in case of fulltime employment, based on 38 hours a week. A week schedule of 40 hours would result in 12 extra leave days; 
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. The first round of interviews will be conducted based on applications received up to and including February 11th, 2022. The preferred starting date is between May 1st 2022 and September 1st 2022. Informal inquiries about this position can be sent to Birna van Riemsdijk

More information about how to apply, and about the HMI research group and the University of Twente can be found via this link.

Comments are closed.