PhD Studentship in Data Exchange for Document Centric XML, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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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.

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

Further information
Further information can be obtained from Maarten Marx,

The appointment will be full-time (38 hours a week) for a period of four years (initial employment is 18 months and after a positive evaluation the appointment will be extended further with 30 months) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan that includes attendance of courses and national and international meetings will be drafted. The salary is in accordance with the university regulations for academic personnel and will range from €2,042 (first year) up to a maximum of €2,612 (last year) before tax per month (scale P). The holiday allowance is 8% of the annual gross income and the end-of-year bonus 8.3%. The collective employment agreement of Dutch universities is applicable.

Applications, only by electronic mail, must be sent to addressed to University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Science, Personnel Dept., attn. J.C. Knaap-Cabi, should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, references and any supporting material. To process your application immediately, please quote the vacancy number (W11-096) in the subject line.

The closing date for applications is 4 June 2011.

For more information, please visit official website:


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