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Visiting researchers wanted on Green Robotics Software at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

A visiting postdoc position in Empirical Software Engineering for Green Robotics Software is open in the Services and Sustainability (S2) group of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

This position is part of a recently funded project supported by the Dutch national funding agency (NWO). The principal investigator of the project is dr. Ivano Malavolta.

The visit is very flexible in terms of effort (e.g., from 0.5 to 1 FTE), total duration (from 6 months to 1 year), starting date, etc. The project will start in May 2020 and, depending on availability, the visit can start also later during 2020.

JOB DESCRIPTION
The general goal of this project is to develop new techniques to help roboticists to systematically develop energy-efficient robotics software. At the core of the project lies the concept of architectural tactic, i.e., design decisions that influence the achievement of system qualities and can be reused across projects. For example, a tactic for energy efficiency is to offload computationally-expensive mapping algorithms from the battery-powered robots to the cloud. Today there is no solid evidence on tactics for energy efficiency for robotics software, leaving roboticists far behind the state of the art in software development.

Your tasks:
The visiting postdoc will be part of a team composed of the principal investigator and several students. The main tasks to be performed by the team are two:

  • Mining software repositories. We will identify the tactics by exploiting an already-built dataset of GitHub repositories containing millions of lines of code belonging to real-world robotic systems. The key technological enabler of this project is the Robot Operating System (ROS). ROS is the de-facto standard for robotic software and officially supports more than 140 types of robots. Currently, there are more than 80,000 GitHub repositories containing ROS-based software, 4,152 publicly available ROS packages, 7,696 users for ROS Wiki, and 22,427 users for ROS Answers. We will use this ecosystem for synthesizing the green tactics in a data-driven fashion out of real projects developed in real development contexts.

  • Empirical experiments. The team will design and conduct one or two quantitative experiments for empirically assessing the run-time impact of the extracted tactics, e.g., in terms of tasks execution times, energy consumption of the robots, communication overhead. The experiments will be carried out on already-available Turtlebot 3 robots and a representative sample of software stacks and architectural topologies.

REQUIREMENTS
The general requirements for this position are:

  • A PhD in Computer Science or related areas (with a thesis topic on software engineering)
  • Expertise in at least one of the following three topics: Mining Software Repositories, Empirical Software Engineering, ROS
  • High proficiency in programming
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Good academic writing skills, preferably with a promising publication record in relevant and high-quality conferences and/or journals (e.g., ICSE, ASE, MSR, TSE, JSS)
  • Also, candidates who would like to apply should be motivated to do high quality scientific research, should have the ability to collaborate in groups as well as carry out work individually, and should have strong communication skills.

WHAT ARE WE OFFERING?
A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,789 (scale 10) and a maximum €4,274 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses

APPLICATION
Are you interested in this visiting position? Please refer to the following job vacancy: https://werkenbij.vu.nl/ad/postdoc-in-empirical-software-engineering-for-green-robotics-software/88noje/en

Review of applications has already started. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact dr. Ivano Malavolta i.malavolta@vu.nl