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<nettime-ann> Fwd: [SIGSEM] Ph.D. Position in Montreal

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michel Gagnon <>
Date: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Subject: [SIGSEM] Ph.D. Position in Montreal

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:
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

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 (
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 (
Département de génie informatique et génie logiciel
École Polytechnique de Montréal

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