Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171

Advanced VR Research Centre

PhD Opportunities - Big Data

22 March 2016

(e-KISS) - Eliciting Knowledge from Infrastructure Systems of Systems through Big Data Analytics

We are rapidly moving into a new era of smart cities with increasingly interconnected infrastructure (transport systems, utilities (water, gas and electricity), low impact development, bridges, telecommunications, etc. These systems of systems comprise components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions. This presents new challenges for urban planners and will require a paradigm shift in thinking and ultimately how future infrastructure systems are managed and supported. Coupled with this transformation is the exponential growth in data from sensors, measurement systems, databases and complex data-driven simulations. The shear deluge of data meets the requirements of big data in terms of its volume, velocity, and variety. However, access to this data alone is insufficient - what is really required is development of new knowledge and information management techniques to gain understanding of the complex interactions by intelligently processing the data. The goal is to create a unique knowledge base that is built upon greater understanding of the complex interactions and emergent behaviour (undesirable and desirable) that are/will be inherent in all infrastructure systems of systems Whilst data science goes some way towards the development of data processing algorithms it does not provide crucial understanding at an engineering level of the complex interactions of the infrastructure systems of systems or more importantly where unexpected/undesirable emergent behaviour occurs. Therefore, the studentships will focus on developing and integrating system architectural level representations of the infrastructure systems of systems with next generation knowledge elicitation/management techniques. The contribution of the research will be i) Novel big data visual analytics to explore emergent behaviour of infrastructure systems of systems, ii) a new framework for data and information management across national infrastructures. This exciting research will contribute towards the recently announced £138m investment in UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure & Cities (ukcric.co.uk).

Studentship 1: Big data analytics involving modelling, simulation and visualization of infrastructure systems to understand and predict complex infrastructure interactions at a systems of systems level (typical skill required/to be developed: computer scientists, systems engineering, novel big data visual analytics, visualization)

Studentship 2: Systems of systems modelling of interconnected critical infrastructures to understand the dependencies and dissonances across infrastructural sectors and to identify any data and knowledge gaps for national infrastructures (typical skill required/to be developed: knowledge/information management).

The PhD students will work across the intersection between systems modelling and knowledge/ information management to create an exploratory knowledge elicitation platform where the complex interactions between infrastructure SoS can be investigated such as risk and resilience strategies, failure mode interventions and adaptable/sustainable infrastructure architectures at the SoS level.

The studentship is for 3 years.

Students will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field.  A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in a related field will be an advantage.

Please email Prof Roy S. Kalawsky for further details