[DL] Ph.D. position in Montréal

Michel Gagnon michel.gagnon at polymtl.ca
Fri Dec 2 19:56:42 CET 2011

Call for Ph.D. position
Project title: World ontologies versus classification systems
Location:  CRIM (Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal), in  
cooperation with Polytechnique Montréal

Submission Deadline: February 5th, 2012

The DETI research group, at CRIM (Centre de recherche informatique de  
Montréal),and WeST Laboratory, at Polytechnique Montréal, are seeking  
candidates for a 3-year PhD project related to the general theme of  
Ontology Modelling and Ontology-driven Classification. This research  
is part of a project supported by NSERC Collaborative Research and  
Development (CRD) Grants program.

The PhD studentship amounts roughly to 19000$CAD per year. The project  
activities will take place mainly at CRIM, but the student academic  
affiliation will be at Polytechnique Montréal. Tuition fees are not  
included in the studentship (for more information on admission consult  
Polytechnique web site:http://www.polymtl.ca/futur/esen/).  
Polytechnique is a French-speaking institution, but non French- 
speaking students are allowed to write comprehensive exam and thesis  
in English.

Master’s degree or equivalent.
The ideal candidate should have a good background in knowledge  
engineering or conceptual modelling. Experience in natural language  
processing is an asset.

Please send the following documents to the contact persons given at  
the end of this announcement:

   - Statement of interest
   - Full CV
   - University transcripts
   - Master dissertation (final copy or draft)
   - Name of two references

The project is realized in collaboration with a company that has been  
developing automated commodity classification software for many  
years.  At this time, they specialize in classification toward HS  
codes (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System).  The  
Harmonized System (HS) is a comprehensive product classification  
system, which covers all merchandise imported by World Trade  
Organization member countries.

The company has built a large ontology containing concepts associated  
to a multitude of products in all domains, and for each concept they  
have encoded various terms for expressing it.  But still, language is  
so rich that they cannot anticipate and encode all possible variations  
used by exporters, such as "frame wood photo pc bamboo", "candy gummi  
choice l'il bears", “gloves faux leather brown” or "sharpener pencil  
sport ball".  The main problem is to match the various product  
descriptions to the terms present in their ontology.

A major problem the company faces is to link the two different views  
of the commodity world as given on one side by the exporters  
describing their products and on the other side by classification  
systems, such as the HS, imposing their arbitrary division of the  
commodity world often for customs and tariff purposes.

This Ph.D. will address this question: Is it possible to provide a  
single “world ontology” for product description and a mapping approach  
toward different “classification ontologies” for different  
classification systems?

The research will be divided into 3 steps:

1. Investigate expressiveness of ontologies and triple stores for  
product descriptions
2. Investigate independence between a “world” ontology and HS ontology
3. Choose a domain proof of concept

Closing date for applications is February 5th, 2012.
Deadline for registration at Polytechnique Montréal is March 1st 2012.


Caroline Barrière (caroline.barriere at crim.ca)
Développement et technologies internet (DETI)
Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal
405, avenue Ogilvy, bureau 101
Montréal (Québec)
H3N 1M3
Tel: 514 840-1235, poste 7673

Michel Gagnon (michel.gagnon at polymtl.ca)
Département de génie informatique et génie logiciel
École Polytechnique de Montréal
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