University of Luxembourg

PhD candidate in Detecting (flaky) test failures of system user interactive tests (m/f)

University of Luxembourg

Luxembourg, Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg is a multilingual, international research University.

University of Luxembourg (UL) is offering a fully funded student bursary in Software Engineering to start as soon as possible. The funding provides fees and living support for full four years, subject to standard University of Luxembourg terms and rates, and will be awarded to the student who meets the UL admissions criteria for the Department of Computer Science PhD programme.

The University of Luxembourg and its Interdisciplinary Centre of Security and Trust (SNT) are looking for a:

PhD candidate in Detecting (flaky) test failures of system user interactive tests (m/f)


The University of Luxembourg seeks to hire an outstanding PhD Candidate at its Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT). SnT is a recently formed centre carrying out interdisciplinary research in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) systems and services, often in collaboration with industrial, governmental or international partners. SnT is active in several international research projects funded by the EU framework programme and the European Space Agency. For further information you may check:

Research Context

In software development, developers need automation in order to improve the quality and productivity of the software they produce. Software quality assurance is particularly one of the most time-consuming tasks, in which developers can take advantage of automated tools and techniques. According to IDC reports, most of software development organizations spent more than $5 million annually on fixing bugs and vulnerabilities. In addition, the number of reported bugs and vulnerabilities outnumber available human resources, as software systems are getting more complex and larger. Developers even release programs with known bugs. This is pervasive both in many open/closed source software projects. Therefore, this project seeks for a talented candidate who can focus on designing and developing several tools and techniques for automated software engineering and in particular for software and security Testing. The successful PhD candidate will extensively explore and develop software engineering techniques that include the feasibility, practicality and success evaluation of prototype implementations.

Continuous integration and deployment is a software development practice that promises to make software development fast and reactive. To ensure code quality, automated tests are created and are continuously executed (against every code change). Unfortunately, some tests trigger false alarms (they fail due to environmental factors, e.g, due to unavailable external services) that mislead and delay developers. Such test failures are called flaky failures and need to be (automatically) detected and distinguished from the real failures. This project will deal with the flakiness problem in the context of system user interactive tests, e.g., Selenium tests.

The key attributes to be investigated regard the definition of appropriate methods effectively assessed wrt. scope and applicability on industrial and open source cases. The successful PhD candidate will extensively explore and develop software engineering techniques that include the feasibility, practicality and success evaluation of prototype implementations.

The team you will be working with:
• Mike Papadakis: Primary advisor
• Yves Le Traon: Co-advisor

Your Role

Under the direction of a PhD Supervisor, you will carry out research activities and write a thesis, the main goal being to obtain a PhD in the area of Automated Security Testing. You may be tasked with developing novel testing techniques, conducting literature surveys and establishing state-of-the-art; developing necessary experimental and simulation facilities where required; planning, executing, and analysing experiments and simulations; conducting joint and independent research activities; contributing to project deliverables, milestones, demonstrations, and meetings; disseminating results at international scientific conferences/workshops and peer reviewed scientific publications.

For inquiries, please contact:

Your Profile

• A master’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering.
• Strong Interest on Software Engineering and Software Testing.
• Commitment, team working, a critical mind, and motivation are important characteristics of successful candidates.
• Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are mandatory.
• Excellent programming Skills (e.g. Java, C, C++).
• Expertise in at least one of these topics: Software Testing, Meta-heuristic optimization, Machine Learning and Program Analysis.

We offer

The University offers highly competitive salaries and is an equal opportunity employer. You will work in an exciting international environment and will have the opportunity to participate in the development of a newly created university.

Further Information

Applications, written in English should be submitted online and should include:
• Curriculum Vitae (including your contact address, work experience, publications)
• Cover letter indicating the research area of interest and your motivation
• Transcript of all courses and results from the highest university-level courses taken
• A short description of your Master’s work (max 1 page)
• If possible, contact information for 3 referees

Please apply ONLINE by 15/12/2019. Please note that applications are reviewed in an as received basis, therefore early applications are encouraged.

The University of Luxembourg is an equal opportunity employer.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.