The PhD program of the Computer Science and Automation Section of the Doctoral school of Engineering aims at preparing first class researchers and future leaders in Computer Engineering, Automation and Robotics who will either continue the research career, both in Universities and in research centres, or will lead industrial research and development projects. A Faculty of internationally recognized researchers and professors from the Department of Informatics and Automation (DIA) of Roma Tre University is responsible for the educational activities and takes part in the organization of the doctoral program.

The course covers a three-year period. The first year is mainly devoted to deepening the background of each student with introductory courses covering the relevant topics in the research areas of the PhD program and advanced courses illustrating new results and techniques in specific fields. These courses aim to facilitate students in choosing the PhD research topic. The second and third years are devoted to research with emphasis on active participation in the research projects of DIA, attendance to conferences, schools and seminars, publication of papers in journals and conference proceedings, and the preparation of the final thesis. Usually, each student spends a period of six months in an international research centre.

The research areas of the PhD program span the whole spectrum of the department research programs, which are the following: Automation and Industrial Organization, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Networks Analysis and Visualization, Graph Drawing, Databases and Information Systems, Computer Aided Design, Robotics, COmplex Systems, and Interdependency Modeling of Critical Infrastructures for Risk Analysis.

Industrial Automation

This program focuses on the development of models and methods for the efficient utilization of resources in Industrial and Logistics processes. The theoretical background is in the fields of optimization and discrete event control systems, including the development of simulation models and algorithms.

Operations Research

This program focuses on the development of theories, models and methods for decision support and optimization. It includes theoretical studies, such as discrete optimization, scheduling theory, multi-agent optimization and complexity theory, as well as the study of interdisciplinary aspects concerning the analysis of the decisional process in organized systems, and the development of models and methods to improve the performance of such systems.

Artificial Intelligence

the program relates to AI models, methods, tools, and their applications to create extremely flexible, autonomous, adaptive and reliable systems, well-grounded from a theoretical point of view. The program’s research projects particularly focus on the formal base and theoretical grounds, both regarding the use of exploration and empirical experimental techniques to analyse, create and assess the conceived systems.

Graph Drawing and Network Visualization

The objectives of the research group are to devise and develop new tools and methodologies for analysing and visualizing information and, specifically, information that is represented by large networks and graphs (Big data). Our focus is specifically on visualisation metaphors that are suitable for a dynamic exploration such as representations based on clustering, or condensed visualisation of several data planes (simultaneous graph drawing), or representation of graphs and networks in small area. The research group focuses on studying problems that stem from practical applications with a solid theoretic background.

Computer Networks

The objectives of the research group are the development of new methodologies and tools for managing computer networks and the Internet. Topics of interest comprise inter-domain routing, network and computer systems security, software defined networks, and computer networks virtualisation. Specifically, the research group investigates algorithms and systems for the exploration and the analysis of the Internet, the study of inter-domain routing policies, and routing stability in the Internet. Concerning security, the focus is on authenticated data structures to allow a secure use of untrusted databases.
Concerning software defined networks, the research focuses on uses in applicative contexts and on problems related with management and monitoring.

Databases and Information Systems

The main goal of this program is the study of new principles, methods and tools for the organization and management of information in the form of databases, systematic collections of sets of persistent and shared data. The research is mainly focused on the new requirements generated by the availability of big sets of data coming from heterogeneous sources. The program offers projects that have both methodological and formal aspects as well as experimental ones. The topics include the extraction of data from Web sources, the management of heterogeneous schema and data, data integration and data exchange, analysis and management of big data, modern database systems (NewSQL and NoSQL).

Scientific Computing

The objective of this program is the development of novel theoretical models and the implementation of scientific computing softwares in fields where simulation plays a major role, from engineering with the Finite Element Method, to bioinformatics with the analysis and correction of genomic sequences. The program couples the development in parallel (multicore), distributed (cluster), and manycore (GPU) environments to algebraic methods and functional analysis.


The robotics program is mainly focused on methodologies and technologies for sensor based navigation of cooperating autonomous vehicles in partially structured environments. Research interests include processing of sensors data for the purpose of localization, motion planning, and environmental mapping, modelling and control of mobile robots with lightweight manipulators, development of distributed control and estimation techniques, and modelling of complex interconnected systems.

Modeling and Simulation of Critical Infrastructures

The main research topics within this programme are in the fields of: Interdependency Modelling; Modelling and simulation of complex systems; SCADA vulnerabilities; Data fusion; Distributed algorithms in Sensor Networks; Smart Energy Management; Decentralised Traffic Control.