Traineeships - Postal Big Data, Visualizing Network Anomalies, Bern, Switzerland

Closing date: Monday, 16 May 2016

Vacancy Announcement No: UPU/16/Intern/ISHIP/143
Title: Traineeship: Postal Big Data: Visualizing Network Anomalies
Type of contract Internship
Duration: Three to six months
Publication Date: 2 May 2016
Application Deadline: 16 May 2016
Organizational Unit: Regulation Economics and Markets Directorate (DREM)
Duty Station: Bern Switzerland
Scheduled date for taking up appointment: As soon as possible, by agreement
The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations and the principal forum for cooperation between postal sector stakeholders, is developing predictive models in the area of international shipments tracking.
The UPU consolidates real-time data on international postal exchanges generated by tracking systems which enable a continuous monitoring, from origin to destination, of any international postal shipment. It is endowed with a unique database gathering several billion tracking records every year.
This postal big data is analysed to improve the quality of international postal services, design innovative logistics services for e-retailers and e-shoppers, and pulse global economic and social conditions across the world.
The aim of the internship is to develop a visual analytics framework for detecting scale-dependent spatial-temporal patterns and anomalies in postal big data generated by tracking systems managed by the Universal Postal Union.
The detection of anomalies/disruptions in postal shipment patterns (both temporal and spatial) might help to identify events that impact the postal network and build knowledge if those anomalies can be related to extreme weather events, political crises, health crises or other types of events. Selected visual analytics methods will be analyzed based on a theoretical evaluation and a user requirements analysis.
The outcomes will be validated by expert interviews.
The protection and strengthening of public facilities and physical infrastructure, such as postal networks, is one of the key activities for reducing the underlying risk factors of disasters related to geological events, weather, climate change or other types of disruptive events.
The time needed to recover from different types of disruptions shall further be part of the analysis, as it might provide additional information about the resilience of the postal network in different countries/regions as well as strengthen UPU's predictive models of transit times.