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September 2003


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Patrick Groenen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Classification, clustering, and phylogeny estimation
Thu, 18 Sep 2003 16:20:01 +0200
text/plain (56 lines)
The Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) has a four-year position
available for the following PhD project.

Title:        Learning Concept Hierarchies in Multi-Attribute Decision
Supervisors:  Prof. dr. P.J.F. Groenen ([log in to unmask]) and
              Dr. J.C. Bioch ([log in to unmask])
Affiliation:  Rotterdam School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam,
              The Netherlands
Period:       Four years
Salary:       approximately starting at euro 1500 in the first year
              to euro 2100 in the fourth year

Large data sets with a large number of variables (or attributes) are getting
more and more prevalent in economics. Therefore, structuring the variables
also gains importance especially in the case of predicting an outcome
variable. In this project, we focus on a promising new approach in
artificial intelligence that has been proposed recently in the literature.
The method searches for a hierarchy of variables in an automated fashion.
This method of concept hierarchies can be graphically represented by a tree
structure where each branch is split into mutually exclusive sets of
predictor variables. Such a tree has the important advantage that it is easy
to interpret from a substantive point of view. Another advantage is a higher
accuracy in prediction. In this project, we consider study the use of
concept hierarchies to multi-attribute decisions as they arise, for example,
in consumer research and financial decision-making. Since the method of
concept hierarchies is in its beginning stage, much of the method is not
clear yet, for example, how to treat noisy or ordinal data. Therefore, the
main objective of this project is to study, apply, and extend the method of
concept hierarchies.

We ask
- Knowledge of matrix algebra and interest in mathematical modelling.
- Some experience in data analysis and statistics.
- Good knowledge of a modern low level programming language
  (e.g., Visual Basic, JAVA, Delphi, Fortran, C++) or higher
  level languages (e.g., MatLab, S-Plus, R, etc.).
- Candidates should have a quantitative background
  (for example, econometrics, statistics, psychometrics,
  machine learning, or artificial intelligence).
- Candidates with an economic background (for example, econometrics
  or marketing) have an advantage.

Prof. dr. Patrick J.F. Groenen
Econometric Institute
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Room H11.23
P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
tel:    ++ 31 10 408 1281
fax:    ++ 31 10 408 9162
e-mail: [log in to unmask]