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Decision support for public security using explainable artificial intelligence

   School of Computing

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Computing and will be supervised by Dr Alexander Gegov, Professor Djamila Ouelhadj and Professor Adrian Hopgood.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Review of Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms for decision support
  • Selection of case studies and data sets for public security from suitable open access information sources
  • Novel applications of chosen/proposed AI/ML methods/algorithms to chosen/proposed case studies/data sets

Project description

This PhD project is aimed at expanding current collaboration between University of Portsmouth and NATO ACT. In particular, the project will build on recent activities including presentations by UoP academics at NATO ACT events and MSc projects of UoP students with NATO ACT as a client, and facilitate intended applications for external research funding with NATO ACT as a partner.

The PhD project focuses on the development of an artificial intelligence methodology and its application for improving public security in NATO member/partner nations. Public security threats have recently gone beyond the military context and deep into the civilian domain. These threats emerge from a wide range of criminal activities such as hate speech, gang violence, cybercrimes, human/drugs trafficking, manipulation, radicalisation, extremism and terrorism, and have a serious impact on people’s lives and wellbeing. This often leads to regional political instability that may escalate and spread.  

The PhD project will develop advanced artificial intelligence methods for raising the level of deterrence and resilience of NATO member and partner countries. This will be done by pro-active identification and prevention of manipulation and radicalisation activities that can lead to extremism and terrorism.

The outcome from the PhD project will be in the form of explainable artificial intelligence tools for monitoring social media, identifying potential threats to public security and mitigating the consequences from these threats. The novel approach used by this technology will involve identifying threats, enabling NATO member/partner nations to engage in mitigating actions, thereby increasing the resilience of NATO.

The explainable artificial intelligence will provide advanced decision support to users by helping them reduce the number of false negatives and positives in the process. The positive impact of this reduction will be a better balance between personal privacy and public security that has been a challenging task in NATO member/partner nations.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements

You should have some prior academic knowledge and technical skills in AI methods and ML algorithms.

How to Apply

We encourage you to contact Dr Alexander Gegov () or Prof Djamila Ouelhadj () to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code below.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Computing PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code:COMP5921023

Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK students only).

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