[Elsnet-list] Research position available: machine learning and dialogue systems

Oliver Lemon olemon at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 15:54:39 CEST 2011

(Please distribute the following announcement)

Research Associate in Machine Learning for Strategic Dialogue Systems
(36 months)

The Interaction Lab,
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS),
Heriot-Watt University

Description of the post:

The Research Associate will work primarily on an adventurous new EC
project "Strategic Conversation" (STAC) to investigate, develop, and
evaluate data-driven Machine Learning approaches to Strategic Dialogue
Management, where dialogue participants can be non-cooperative.

The post will be located in the Interaction Lab at Heriot-Watt
University's School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS), see
www.macs.hw.ac.uk/InteractionLab . The successful candidate will join
a group of 8 postdoctoral researchers. The project is a collaboration
between the Universities of Toulouse and Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt

The post is available for 36 months (starting June 2011) in the first
instance, with opportunities for extension.

Principal Duties:

Detailed research duties are to implement, train, and evaluate machine
learning models of non-cooperative dialogue management, to implement
and evaluate user simulations from dialogue data, and to collect and
analyse spoken dialogue data. The successful applicant will also
present the research outputs at project meetings and international

The main duties of the post are to perform collaborative research on
the project, to contribute to project tasks as described in the
workplan, to write and submit research articles, and to participate in
EC project research meetings and international conferences.

Key Objectives:

- To implement and evaluate machine learning approaches to strategic,
non-cooperative dialogue management.

- To implement and evaluate user simulations from dialogue data.

- To collect and analyse dialogue data.

- To complete project tasks as specified in the project workplan.

Essential Criteria:

- Experience (at PhD level or equivalent) with machine learning and/or
Dialogue Systems.

- Programming ability in Java and/or C++ and/or Python

- Some familiarity with Reinforcement Learning theory and tools.

- Experience with collection and analysis of dialogue data.

- Experience of evaluation methodologies for dialogue interfaces.

- Experience in statistical modelling and analysis.

Desirable Criteria:

- Background in dialogue modelling and/or game theory

- Experience with Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs)

- Collaborative research experience.

- Publications and existing international research profile in the
field of spoken dialogue systems and/or Machine Learning

Contact: please contact Prof. Oliver Lemon and Dr. Helen Hastie
(o.lemon,h.hastie AT hw.ac.uk) for further information.

Closing date for applications: 10th of May 2011

Application procedure: formal applications should be made using:

Oliver Lemon
Professor, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
The Interaction Lab:  http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/InteractionLab
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh , EH14 4AS
Heriot-Watt University is a Scottish charity
registered under charity number SC000278.

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