PhD position on Improving movement simulation of large masses of people

Insitute for Geoinformatics University of Münster: PhD position on Improving movement simulation of large masses of people


For more information on the topic visit the website

For winter semester 2017/18, ifgi offers one PhD scholarship for the following topic:

Improving movement simulation of large masses of people

Main supervisor: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Judith Verstegen

Society demands an efficient and safe flow of large masses of people in many different settings, such as in traffic, at sports events, at festivals and in shopping malls. Flow efficiency and safety are influenced by the local interactions and feedbacks between the individuals in these masses and their environment, which consists of the physical space as well as of other individuals. Agent-based models are used to better understand these local interactions and the resulting collective effects on the movement of the mass. The challenges for agent-based models are to reach a sufficient degree of realism in real-world settings and to quantify the predictive value of the model results in these settings.

This project focuses on improving the value of agent-based models of the movement of masses of people with data from state-of-the-art geo-information technologies. Model structure can be enhanced, for example by implementing the response of agents to spatio-temporal information from dynamic signs and smart phone push-messages. Furthermore, model parametrization can be improved, through model calibration with e.g. image data from drones, aerial photos or cameras. The final model will be used to assess different management strategies to optimize flow efficiency and safety of masses in distinct case studies. We seek an outstanding PhD candidate to work on a self-selected topic within this research area to start in October 2017.

Essential criteria for applications:
  • MSc degree in geoinformatics, computer science, geography or a discipline related to a particular setting with masses of people (e.g. transport and logistics)
  • experience in performing spatial analyses
  • interest in agent-based modelling
  • competency in formulating and solving research problems
  • fluency in spoken and written English
  • as for further formal requirement, see application platform.
Desirable criteria for applications:
  • good abstract reasoning skills
  • experience in programming/scripting
  • excellent communication skills
  • experience in working in an interdisciplinary team
Stipend and Duration

The salary is a stipend of 1468 euro/month. Furthermore, the semester fees will be covered. For international applicants, we can also cover one flight ticket to Germany. The intended duration of the position is 36 months. The initial scholarship contract is for 14 months. The contract will be extended to the full 36 months in case of a positive evaluation of achieved milestones so far, i.e., the successful defence of an updated dissertation proposal in month 12.



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