PhD project in Automata Learning

March 2023

Update: This position has been filled.

I have a 4 year PhD position in theoretical computer science available at the Open Universiteit. Please consider contacting me if this interests you!

Project Context

Automata learning is a technique for improving software quality by smarter testing. It tests systems thoroughly, while at the same time constructing understandable models of the system. Such models can be analysed mathematically to ensure correctness. This has already found numerous software bugs in software we use for our daily communication.

Nevertheless, the learning techniques are still in their infancy, as they are laborious to apply and do not scale to bigger systems. The research project will improve automata learning by leveraging modularity. This makes the approach align with current software engineering practices and makes it more applicable to real-world situations.

Decorative image of someone testing a computer with bugs crawling around it

As a PhD candidate …

… you will work on automata learning algorithms. The aim is to find better and more general algorithms so that they can be applied to more systems. In order to develop these generalisations, I think we should look at abstract theory from coalgebras and category theory. So you will conduct research in theoretical computer science. Alternatively, you may enjoy a more practical approach and apply automata learning algorithms. The research project provides enough room and flexibility for people with a theoretical background, as well as a more applied background.


We offer

More info

Do not hesitate to contact me for any questions. In order to apply, please send me a CV, transcript of grades and a motivation letter. You are also welcome to get in touch informally if you are planning to apply or want to know more details.

Starting date: to be discussed

Link to Academic Transfer

Joshua Moerman
joshua.moerman -at-