Funding

Self-funded PhD students only

Project code

L&OR6071023

Department

School of Mathematics and Physics

Start dates

October, February and April

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

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

The PhD student will join the Centre for Operational Research and Logistics (CORL) and will be based in the School of Mathematics and Physics. They will be supervised by CORL members Professor Dylan Jones and Dr Hongjie Ma

The work on this project will involve:

  • Developing goal programming models for enhanced clustering
  • Using clustering to improve goal programming based decision making
  • Applying the developed methodology to decision problems from application areas such as healthcare, transportation and logistics or renewable energy and sustainability. 

Goal programming is an established technique within the Operational Research topic of Multiple Criteria Decision Making. It is used in order to formulate and provide solutions to decision problems with multiple conflicting objectives and potentially multiple decision makers to satisfy. Members of the CORL have used goal programming to model and solve decision problems within many fields include healthcare planning, logistics of offshore wind farms and mapping of Arctic search and rescue needs. Recently, these have included use of clustering to help analyse the results. 

Clustering methods belong to the field of data analytics and machine learning and have hence received considerable theoretical and application-based interest in recent years. The quality of a clustering solution can be measured by many different metrics, some of which are problem dependent. Clustering can hence be posed as a multi-criteria problem, and there is a growing body of literature applying multiple objective methodologies to the clustering problem, however there is little research that utilises the technique of goal programming for this purpose.

This project therefore explores the synergies between goal programming and clustering in two principal directions. Firstly, the use of clustering to improve the modelling power of goal programming will be investigated. Means of clustering by decision variables, stakeholders goals and parameters will be investigated, including the use of recent goal programming variants. A clustering based goal programming methodology will hence be developed and tested on applications arising from the CORL research centre. Secondly, the use of goal programming to aid the constrained clustering technique will be investigated, with goals pertaining to common clustering performance metrics and an emphasis on the trade-off between balance between clusters versus efficiency of the overall clustering solution. The resulting goal programming based clustering method will be evaluated on established test sets. 
 

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

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

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start) 

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students
(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £18,300 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £9,150 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in a related area. 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.

We particularly welcome applications from students with an understanding of Operational Research (e.g. industrial engineering, computer science, mathematics and other relevant disciplines). Students must be competent in, or willing to learn, optimisation and data analytics computer software.  

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Professor Dylan Jones  (dylan.jones@port.ac.uk) to discuss your interest quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Operational Research and Logistics 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: L&OR6071023

 

Contact information