2 PhD positions in Systems and Algorithms for Distributed Machine Learning

Data Transparency Group

Deadline for receipt of applications: February 14, 2022 23:59 AoE (15 February 2023, 13:59h Europe/Madrid Time)

Distributed Machine Learning including, but not limited to the Federated Learning (FL) paradigm, is opening new possibilities for the training of large scale machine learning models using data held by different clients in a trustworthy, privacy-preserving manner. Of course, FL is not without its challenges, including practical scalability aspects, issues related to heterogeneity of processing and network capacities, economics and fairness aspects, as well as security and privacy threats from malicious clients and servers. The purpose of the PhD positions will be to tackle such challenges, investigate synergies with cloud and edge computing, as well as develop practical use-cases of distributed ML for concrete examples coming from finance, advertising, e-health, transportations, etc. The focus will be on algorithms and systems aspects of the proposed solutions and will also include practical demonstrators for real-world problems from the aforementioned domains.


Requirements (as many as possible):

  • Degree in Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics or related technical field.
  • Strong background on developing distributed systems.
  • Strong background on machine learning and algorithms.
  • Knowledge on security and privacy.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English is mandatory.
  • A desire to work on challenging topics and publish at top conferences is also mandatory.


Related pointers:

  •  T. Chu, A. Garcia-Recuero, C. Iordanou, G. Smaragdakis, N. Laoutaris, “Securing Federated Sensitive Topic Classification against Poisoning Attacks,” NDSS’23. [pdf]
  • N. Laoutaris, “Why Online Services Should Pay You for Your Data? The Arguments for a Human-Centric Data Economy,” IEEE Internet Computing, Vol. 23, No. 5, Dec. 2019. [pdf]

The selected student will be supervised by Dr. Nikolaos Laoutaris Director of IMDEA’s Data Transparency Group.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

IMDEA Networks Institute aims to increase the proportion of women and therefore qualified female applicants are explicitly encouraged to apply. Until a balanced ratio of men and women has been achieved at the institute, preference will be given to women if applicants have similar qualifications. IMDEA Networks Institute actively promotes diversity and equal opportunities. Applicants are not to be discriminated against in personnel selection procedures on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion or ideology, age, sexual orientation (anti-discrimination). People with disabilities who have the relevant qualifications are expressly invited to apply.

  1. Remember to select the following option: PhD: PhD Student positions [2023]
  2. Deadline for receipt of applications: February 14, 2022 23:59 AoE (15 February 2023, 13:59h Europe/Madrid Time)
  3. If necessary choose as supervisor Nikolaos LAOUTARIS