Monday, February 25, 2013

[DMANET] PhD Studentship at Portsmouth Business School

Dear colleagues,
I would like to draw your attention to our three-year PhD Studentship in
the Portsmouth Business School, starting 1 October 2013.

The persistent surveillance problem consists of covering a particular
area of interest (AOI) in order to detect abnormal conditions. In
real-life applications, this problem is mainly found in the context of
security, for example, in airborne, land-based and sea-based border
surveillance scenarios. With differing conditions, vehicle constraints
may vary and, therefore, different conditions have to be taken into
account including motion and endurance constraints. The problem is
mainly solved by using default patterns to ensure a balanced coverage of
the AOI. This approach imposes the challenge of adapting to particular
scenario-dependent conditions including prioritised regions, obstacles
and non-regular shaped AOIs. The supervisory team has worked on the FP7
EU funded project SEABILLA (, where one milestone has
been the design of an optimal routing algorithm for Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAV) in a persistent surveillance mission. The routing must be
efficient (for example, minimise the distance travelled) and effective
(for example, maximise the detection rate of abnormal behaviour). This
problem has been solved under the assumption that all UAVs have the same
capabilities (speed, sensors range, turning angle, etc.). However, in
practice UAV fleet capabilities may vary which introduces an additional
substantial level of complexity.

This PhD project aims to extend our research in persistent coverage for
UAVs with a possible focus on:

• The integration of UAV platforms with different capabilities in the
coverage exercise.
• The incorporation of a learning-based concept that is able to adapt
the routing in accordance to the new suspicious categorised area by
learning from previously detected abnormal behaviour of maritime vehicles.
• The outline of a performance comparison of traditional pattern routing
and the new proposed approach.

Qualifications: Applicants will have a good first degree (minimum 2.1 or
equivalent) and ideally a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject

Enquiries relating to the topic should be directed to: Dr. Jana Ries
( or Dr Alessio Ishizaka (
Qualifications: Applicants will have a good first degree (minimum 2.1 or
equivalent) and ideally a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject

Applications should include:
• a full CV including personal details, qualifications, educational
history and, where applicable, any employment or other experience
relevant to the application
• contact details for TWO referees able to comment on your academic
• a statement of 1,000 (words) outlining your proposed project,
identifying the objectives of the research and discussing how the work
will build on or challenge existing research in the above field.

Application Deadline: 19 April 2013
Interviews will be conducted on Thursday 23 May 2013.

Applications should be sent to: Jana Ries, Postgraduate Centre,
University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street,
Portsmouth, PO1 3DE (applications can be submitted electronically via: cc to

Funding Notes:

Funding Status:The studentship will cover tuition fees and an annual
grant equivalent to that offered by the ESRC – set at £13,720 per annum
for 2013/14 for a maximum of three years. UK/EU residence eligibility
conditions apply.

This full-time studentship is open to Home/EU students and is located in
Portsmouth Business School. Potential applicants are advised to examine
our Research Degree Pages at
to applying.

Alessio Ishizaka

Dr Alessio Ishizaka
Reader in Decision Analysis
Leader of the Operations Research and Logistics Team
University of Portsmouth
PBS, Operations & Systems Management
Portsmouth PO1 3DE
United Kingdom
Tel: 0044(0)23 9284 4171
New Book!
Multi-criteria Decision Analysis: Methods and Software
Alessio Ishizaka, Philippe Nemery
Wiley, July 2013
ISBN: 978-1-1199-7407-9
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