The research will focus on the development of new algorithms for modeling and learning from implicit feedback, such as click behavior, in order to optimize the behavior of information retrieval systems. Doing so will require new reinforcement learning techniques, as well as other types of machine learning. The new methods will be applied to real data from a leading Dutch social networking site. The project is funded by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. The successful candidate will be based in the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA) within the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam. The institute was recently ranked among the top 50 computer science departments in the world by the 2011 QS World University IT Rankings. ISLA consists of 20 members of faculty, 20 post-doctoral researchers, and more than 50 PhD students. Members of the lab are actively pursuing a variety of research initiatives, including machine learning, decision-theoretic planning and learning, multiagent systems, human-computer-interaction, natural language processing, information retrieval, and computer vision.
-strong math skills; -good knowledge of modern machine learning methods (specific knowledge of reinforcement learning and/or decision-theoretic planning is a plus); -good knowledge of modern information retrieval algorithms and models; -experience programming in at least one of the following languages: C, C++, Java, Python, or Perl; -excellent oral and written communication skills.