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A model-driven software development platform for Climate-Sensitive Infectious Disease Modelling

a. Project Description

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the value of epidemiological models in battling against the disease. However, modelling is not a trivial task. It requires time, effort and continuous maintenance to address the evolution of the disease and of the countermeasures. On one hand, this requires a systematic and robust development process to ensure the effectiveness and the quality of the produced models. On the other hand, it also implies the need for a change management process that will handle the maintenance and the evolution of the models. Furthermore, infectious diseases have to be studied in conjunction with other affecting parameters, include climate and sociodemographics. Therefore, modellers need to be able to consider multidimensional and hybrid models to better study the phenomenon. In this project, we propose the application of software engineering and model-driven engineering principles to aid the design, development and simulation of climate-sensitive infectious disease models. More specifically, we propose a integrated development platform that will support (a) the definition and design of models, (b) the simulation of scenarios based on these models, (c) the automatic validation and verification of models and code generation, (d) the control of model versions, and (e) the merging of models from different domains.

b. Tasks and responsibilities

The hired student will work towards the development of a prototype platform for developing climate and disease models. The student will develop the theoretical foundation as well as the implementation for such a platform and leverage principles of Software Engineering and Model-Driven Engineering. The student will aim to publish in top-tier journals, including IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, IEEE Transaction on Big Data, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, and conferences, such as MODELS, ICSE, and others. The student will also be responsible for supervising and mentoring MSc and BSc students working on the project. The position is open for Winter, Summer or Fall 2024.

c. Required Skills

The student will be asked to demonstrate adequate understanding or expertise in the following topics through relevant courses (on undergraduate or graduate level) or through relevant publications in international conferences or journals. The student should consider applying if they have the expert-level skills and at least 50% of the good-level skills.

d. Application process

Upon contacting the professor to inquire for the position, the student is also asked to submit the following documents: