Welcome to the Institute of Applied Optimization (IAO) [应用优化研究所] of the School of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data [人工智能与大数据学院] of the Hefei University [合肥学院]. Founded in December 2016, we are pursuing to become a strong research group in the field of applied mathematical and combinatorial optimization, operations research, Computational Intelligence machine learning, metaheuristics, and evolutionary computation.

We jointly guest-edited the Special Issue on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms which was published by the Applied Soft Computing journal by Elsevier B.V. As of August 2020, the special issue has been completed and the published articles appeared on the journal website. We also participate in a large community effort to gather good practices for benchmarking, which resulted in the technical report Benchmarking in Optimization: Best Practice and Open Issues.

We jointly organize the Good Benchmarking Practices for Evolutionary Computation workshops as parts of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (BENCHMARK@GECCO 2020), July 8-12, 2020, Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CfP, deadline has passed) and the Sixteenth International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature (BENCHMARK@PPSN XVI), September 5-9, 2020 in Leiden, The Netherlands (CfP).

The above are continuations of our efforts in the field, after already jointly organizing the successful BOCIA'18, BB-DOB@GECCO'18, BB-DOB@PPSN'18, and BB-DOB@GECCO'19 workshops.

Mission Statement

The rise of vast computing power and data storage capacity together with the ubiquitous availability of the internet has brought us to the dawn of a new era, which leaves no aspect of industry, business, services, logistics, or even basic infrastructure unchanged. An enterprise must seek to take advantage of these new resources in order to stay ahead of the market, to become more efficient, to reduce its costs, and to increase its speed. Computational Intelligence conquers tasks which were previously pure human domains, ranging from driving vehicles, playing Go, to the automated planning of intermodal logistics tasks involving hundreds of trucks, trains, and ships and to the scheduling of the production of complete multi-production line factories.

Optimization and operations research are technologies which can be applied to increase the efficiency of virtually every single aspect of a company's operation. They can be used to improve the design of products and their robustness and quality. They can be used to reduce waste. They can be used to improve the scheduling of staff, work shifts, or the utilization of machines. They can improve the floor plan of workshops. They can be used for improving stockkeeping. They can improve virtually all aspects of logistics and even whole supply chains. And they can be combined with models obtained via Machine Learning and Data Mining to better plan ahead.

This is what we want to do: We want cooperate with partners from academia and different industries. We contribute both fundamental research on optimization as well as develop robust and reliable tailor-made software solutions. Our research aims to help to increase production efficiency and speed, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to even improve the quality of products. We further believe that optimization is one of the key technologies for making concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 [中国制造2025] successful, as it can enable both intelligent, automatic control of networked manufacturing and management processes as well as a greener production.