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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD student position in automata theory, Bordeaux, FRANCE

A PhD position is available from September 2013 on the subject:

"Efficient Verification of Timed Automata"

at the University of Bordeaux, France, under the supervision of Igor 
Walukiewicz (CNRS / LaBRI) and Frdric Herbreteau (IPB / LaBRI).

---- Aim and scope

Timed automata are finite automata extended with clocks that allow to constrain 
the delay between actions of the automaton. Timed automata are widely used to 
model real-time systems and for model-checking real-time specifications.

The state-space of a timed automaton is infinite (and even not countable). To 
overcome this problem, verification algorithms use a finite abstraction of the 
runs of the automaton. The efficiency of the verification algorithms heavily 
rely on the coarseness of the abstraction.

These last years, several optimizations of the abstractions and the underlying 
algorithms have been proposed. In particular, new properties of convex sets of 
clock values have been established. This allowed to obtain a new algorithm for 
handling abstractions of such convex sets. The algorithm opens many new 
possibilities in algorithmics of reachability testing, with an expected gain of 
several order of magnitude with respect to the existing approaches.

The subject is quite large and permits for both purely theoretical and 
implementation contributions depending on the interests of the PhD student. 
Some first possible goals are:
- to develop new abstractions that could dynamically use the informations that 
are collected by verification algorithms,
- to study which are the properties preserved by these abstractions (in 
particular regarding probabilistic and quantitative/priced extensions of timed 
- to integrate verification techniques designed for distributed systems,
- to combine with program verification techniques in order to check real-time 

[Subject including 
  ---- Details about employment

The PhD position is intended to start in september/october 2013. PhD positions 
are limited to 3 years and do not include teaching duties. The current stipend 
is 1374 per month, before tax but including health insurance. The stipends 
grows to 1651 per month with teaching duties.

---- Candidate profile

The candidate should have a MS in computer science or equivalent with a strong 
background in theoretical computer science, in particular: algorithms, automata 
theory, logic, computability and complexity, model-checking. Good C++ 
programming skills are also welcome.

---- Application

Applications should contain a statement of interest, a curriculum vitae, 
academic records (if available), and the name and contact information of two 
reference persons. Please, send all documents using PDF format. Candidates may 
inquire for further information and apply by sending email to Frdric 
Herbreteau ( and Igor Walukiewicz (

---- Formal Method group at LaBRI

LaBRI is the computer science research laboratory of the University of 
Bordeaux. It has about 300 members including researchers, post-docs, PhD 
students, and programmers. The PhD student will join the Formal Methods team 
that has three main groups of research: natural language processing; logic, 
graph and language theory; modeling and verification. The thesis fits in the 
last group which consists of about 25 people.

---- Bordeaux

Bordeaux is located in the south west of France. It is well-known for its 
outstanding wine industry. Bordeaux is 1h from the Atlantic ocean and 3h from 
the Pyrnes mountains and the border between France and Spain. Thanks to this 
particular location, Bordeaux offers a rich cultural life and the possibility 
to practice many sports. It is well connected to many European cities including 
Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Roma, Brussels, etc.