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PhD: Discovering Behavioral Software Models from Software Event Data

Function PhD-student
Departments Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
FTE 1,0
Date off 31/01/2015
Reference number V32.2142

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: Automatically Discovering Behavioral Software Models from Software Event Data

Process models and user interface workflows underlie the functional specification of almost every substantial software system. However, these are often left implicit or are not kept consistent with the actual software development. When the system is utilized, user interaction with the system can be recorded in event logs. After applying process mining methods to logs, we can derive process and user interface workflow models. These models provide insights regarding the real usage of the software and can enable usability improvements and software redesign. In this project, we aim to develop process discovery techniques specific for software. How can domain knowledge and software structure be exploited while mining? How to discover software patterns and anti-patterns?

Job requirements


We are looking for candidates that meet the following requirements:

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:

Information and application

More information:

You can apply by using the 'Apply Now' button on Or follow the link:, choose Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and click ‘search’ to find this vacancy (V32.2142).