Research Doctoral Scholarship

Project Title: Planning Modulo Theories

An enhanced stipend of £15,000 per annum is offered to a strong candidate for a full time PhD scholarship within the Digital Futures Institute, Teesside University.  The scholarship is funded by Teesside University, and will be for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Significance of the work:  The ability to plan, and to reason about the actions we perform is a fundamental aspect of intelligent behaviour.  The research field of Automated Planning is a key field within the Artificial Intelligence community.  Planning has applications in many varied applications.  Examples include planning the activities of non-player characters in computer games and creating activity and path plans in autonomous robotics.  Each new practical application contains interesting new features that are either difficult or impossible to model with current planning modelling languages.

 The traditional approach to solving such problems has been to add additional syntax to the modelling language.  An alternative approach that has recently been developed is known as Planning Modulo Theories.  Within this framework, new data types can be added to a core planner in an extensible way.  Thus, to allow real-value arithmetic, a module developer adds the specific functions he needs to the system and the planner will be able to solve problems that depend on real numbers.

The successful applicant to this PhD scholarship will study in this new research field of Planning Modulo Theories.  There are many open questions that you can tackle related to both type-specific modules and the core planning algorithm.  The specific topic can be decided based on the successful applicant’s area of interest.

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Director of Studies: Dr Peter Gregory

Supervisory Team: Dr Julie Porteous, Prof Marc Cavazza

Location: Based at Teesside University

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2.1 or above) and/or Masters level qualification in a relevant discipline.  The successful applicant will have strong programming skills, knowledge of classical AI planning and a good mathematical background. It is desirable that the applicant has knowledge of constraint programming or Operations Research optimisation techniques.

Although we can accept applications from overseas students, the funding will only cover a home student fee.  The difference between the home and international student fee would be payable by the applicant.

Application forms and further details on the project can be obtained from the Graduate Research School

(Tel: Lorraine: 01642 384438;

For informal enquiries, please contact Peter Gregory (

To download the latest version of Teesside University’s Research and Enterprise Magazine, please click here

Closing Date: 25th July 2013, 4.30pm

We envisage that interviews will take place in mid-August 2013.

The Scholarship is expected to start in October 2013, but for a strong candidate could be deferred until February 2014.  It is important to state your preferred start date at Interview.

To apply click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

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