PhD position in Logic/XML/Trees

Geplaatst op 07-04-2011 door Maarten Marx | research, XML | tags: | comment image Geen reacties »

The university of Amsterdam has a fully funded 4-year PhD position available. The research topic is on the interplay of logic, finite model theory, and the theory of (XML)-trees and motivated by a concrete problem in database research:

Data Exchange for Document Centric XML.

Summary of the Research Proposal

This project is about a topic in database theory, data exchange.
Data exchange is about the problem of taking data structured under a source schema and materializing an instance of a target schema that reflects as accurately as possible the source data.
The logical foundations of this problem in the case of relational data have been formulated in 2003 and applied in IBM’s data exchange product Clio.
In later years this theory has been extended to nested relational and data-centric XML.
A key feature of this type of data is its invariance for sibling order. Much XML data that is exchanged in practice however is not invariant for sibling order and the existing theory and tools are not applicable.

The current project thus aims to extend the theory of data exchange to this kind of XML data, called document centric XML. To specify common mappings in documents centric XML, the formalism of tree patterns is not sufficient and needs to be extended with conditional axis steps. These are a syntactic variant of the until operator from temporal logic. For this expansion of the mapping rule formalism we study the main topics in data exchange: expressivity, minimization and definability; static analysis problems like schema mapping containment and consistency of mappings; computation of certain answers.


  • Master degree in mathematics or computer science.
  • Strong background in formal logic.
  • Background in temporal logic or (tree) automata or database theory.


The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week). The starting date is negotiable in the summer of 2011. The appointment will initially be for 18 months. Extension of the contract to a maximum of four years is subject to satisfactory performance in the first year.
The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the salary scales for PhD candidates at Dutch universities, ranging from €2,042 in the first year to €2,612 in the final year.

More information


Contact Maarten Marx.


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