PhD and Postdoc Positions: Model-based Visualization of Software Event Data at TU/e

Job Description

In the context of the 3TU.BSR “Big Software on the Run” research program we are looking for 6 PhDs and 3 Postdoc interested in Software Analytics and Data Science.

The project will run for a period of four years and is supported by the three Dutch technical universities (Eindhoven University of Technology, TU Delft, and University of Twente). It was initiated by 3TU.NIRICT, the Netherlands Institute for Research on ICT, which comprises all ICT research of the three universities of technology in the Netherlands. The PhD positions will run for 4 years. The three postdocs will be appointed for 2-3 years.

Millions of lines of code – written in different languages by different people at different times, and operating on a variety of platforms – drive the systems performing key processes in our society. The resulting software needs to evolve and can no longer be controlled a priori as is illustrated by a range of software problems. The 3TU.BSR research program will develop novel techniques and tools to analyze software systems in vivo – making it possible to visualize behavior, create models, check conformance, predict problems, and recommend corrective actions. To deal with Big Software on the Run (BSR), we propose to shift the main focus from a priori software design to a posteriori software analytics thereby exploiting the large amounts of event data generated by today’s systems. The core idea is to study software systems in vivo, i.e., at runtime and in their natural habitat. We would like to understand the actual (desired or undesired) behavior of software. Running software needs to adapt to evolving and diverging environments and requirements. This forces us to consider software artifacts as “living organisms operating in changing ecosystem”. This paradigm shift requires new forms of empirical investigation that go far beyond the common practice of collecting error messages and providing software updates.

PhD position: Model-based Visualization of Software Event Data
Visualization can be a powerful means for understanding large and complex data sets, such as the huge event streams produced by running software systems. During explorative analysis (T1) experts have to be enabled to see what patterns occur, during monitoring (T2) anomalous events and patterns have to be detected, where in both cases we can exploit the unique capabilities of the human visual system. However, simply showing events as a sequence of items will fall short because of lack of scalability. The challenge is to enable users to specify what they are interested in, and to show only a limited subset of the data, using filtering, aggregation, and abstraction. We propose to enable users to define models for this, ranging from simple range filters to process models. We will study which (combinations of) models are most appropriate here, such that occurrences of events, temporal and logical patterns, and the relations between occurrences and attributes of events can be detected, and to facilitate analysts to define and check hypotheses on patterns.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates that meet the following requirements:

a solid background in Computer Science, Data Science, of Software Science (demonstrated by a relevant Master);
for the postdoc positions a relevant PhD is expected;
candidates from non-Dutch or non-English speaking countries should be prepared to prove their English language skills;
good communicative skills in English, both in speaking and in writing;
candidates are expected to realize research ideas in terms of prototype software, so software development skills are needed.
Note that we are looking for candidates that really want to make a difference and like to work on things that have a high practical relevance while having the ambition to compete at an international scientific level (i.e., present at top conferences and in top journals).

Conditions of employment

Appointment and salary
We offer:

A full time temporary appointment for a period of 4 years, with an intermediate evaluation after 9 months;
A gross salary of € 2125 per month in the first year increasing up to € 2717 in the fourth year;
Support for your personal development and career planning including courses, summer schools, conference visits etc.;
A broad package of fringe benefits (e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, child daycare and excellent sports facilities).

Information and application

More information:

More information about this position contact Jack van Wijk (Full Professor), e-mail: or by telephone: +31 40 247 4579.
More information about the employment conditions contact drs. Charl Kuiters (HR advisor), e-mail: or by telephone: +31 40 247 2321.


About Craig Anslow

Craig Anslow is a Lecturer in Software Engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, with research interests in software visualization.
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