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Today, I had the honor and pleasure to chair the International Workshop on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms (BOCIA) at the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), which took place from March 29 to 31, 2018 in Xiamen [厦门], Fujian [福建省], China. Our program was packed with seven very interesting presentations on the field, each of which discussing another aspect or application where algorithm performance was mined using modern statistics. Even after working on this field for several years, the ideas proposed today were still novel to me and I found the presentations quite inspiring. Indeed, each presentation led to an exciting discussion, so the workshop could indeed become a platform for the exchange of thoughts.

I want to wholeheartedly thank all of our authors for their research contributions and insightful presentations and the audience for their valuable comments and discussions. It should be mentioned that our workshop was the very last session at ICACI, yet was attended very well. This also speaks for the great organization of ICACI, whose chairs managed to attract several top-level keynote and tutorial presenters and an audience who deeply cares about research on Computational Intelligence. Of course, I would also like to thank my co-chairs and the our program committee, without whom organizing our workshop would have been impossible.

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The Black-Box Discrete Optimization Benchmarking Workshop (BB-DOB@GECCO), a part of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO 2018) has been extended to April 3, 2018. This means that there is one more week to submit your original research on benchmarking of discrete optimizers. The deadlines for acceptance notification and for the submission of the final versions of the accepted papers have not been changed. The GECCO conference takes place on July 15-19, 2018, in Kyoto, Japan (http://gecco-2018.sigevo.org/).

The Black-Box-Optimization Benchmarking (BBOB) methodology introduced by the long-standing and successful BBOB-GECCO workshops series has become a well-established standard for benchmarking continuous optimization algorithms. The aim of this workshop is to develop a similar standard methodology for the benchmarking of black-box optimization algorithms for discrete and combinatorial domains. The goal of this first edition of the BB-DOB workshop series is to define a suitable set of benchmark functions for discrete and combinatorial optimization problems.

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The conference program of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), where our International Workshop on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms (BOCIA) takes place, has been released (pdf). The paper presentation of our workshop will take place on March 31st, 2018 from 09:45 to 11:30 in room Guang-Yi [广益厅]. Each talk will have a total of 15 minutes, 12 of which are for presentation and 3 for questions and answers. All authors should bring their presentation either in PPT, PPTX or PDF format on a USB stick and hand them to the session chair before the session starts. This will ensure that all presentations can take place in a timely manner without too many delays caused by switching and plugging in laptops. We are looking forward to meet you in Xiamen [厦门], Fujian [福建省], China!

  1. Yiqin Zhang, Fenlin Liu, Hongyan Jia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and Chunfang Yang. "Optimization of Rich Model based on Fisher Criterion for Image Steganalysis" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 809—814
  2. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "A Research on Metric Learning in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 815—820
  3. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "An Improved Estimation of Distribution Algorithm for Cloud Computing Resource Scheduling" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 821—826
  4. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Jinlong Li. "Tuning the Hyper-parameters of CMA-ES with Tree-structured Parzen Estimators" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 827—832
  5. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "A Hybrid Multi-swarm Particle Swarm Optimization with One-Dimensional Chaotic Search Strategy" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 833—838
  6. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "A Density-based Discretization Method With Inconsistency Evaluation" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 839—844
  7. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "Optimization Algorithm Behavior Modeling: A Study on the Traveling Salesman Problem" in Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence (ICACI 2018), March 29-31, 2018, Xiamen, Fujian, China, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-5386-4362-4, pages 845—850. pdf / slides

Here you can find a short workshop report.

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The Consulate General of Germany in Shanghai supports German companies and researchers from the provinces Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang by organizing a German Science Circle which meets in Shanghai. These meetings are always very interesting and good opportunities for exchanging thoughts. Today, I attended such a meeting with the focus on the collaboration of Max Planck Institutes [MPG] with Chinese groups and researchers. Two top-level researchers, Professor Dr. Klaus Müllen, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and Professor Dr. Markus Antonietti, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam-Golm, gave their thoughts in impulse talks about "Joint Innovation and Technology". Here I want to summarize what I learned at this meeting and add a few thoughts.

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On March 6 and 13, 2018, I had the chance to give two one-hour introduction lessons on German culture to the students of the Nanmen Primary School [南门小学] [(森林公园校区)]. Before going there, I wondered how and what should I teach elementary school children about German culture? What could they be interested to learn? This was an interesting challenge.

We started by finding out where Germany is. I wanted to put this in a context of something the school children can relate to, so we began a virtual journey to Germany in Hefei [合肥]. We looked at satellite images and "zoomed" farther and farther out, until other cities and the whole of the Anhui [安徽] province and then all of China and its neighboring countries became visible. We then flew over the globe until arriving in Europe, where we zoomed in again on Germany. We then compared the size and population of Germany to Anhui and China. Comparing with Anhui makes sense, because here the scales are quite similar: Germany is about 2.5 times as big there are eight German people for every seven Anhui people. China is 27 times as big as Germany and has 17.5 times as many people. We then learned how German people look like and what clothes they wear. We looked at photos of typical German people of various professions, ranging from scientists, elementary school children, bakers, police people, fire fighters, sports persons, cashiers in a super market, farmers, and fisher people. The children liked that we have many different hair colors, such as blond, brown, black, and red. Finally, we talked about Christmas and the traditions around it, including Christmas trees and Santa Claus. And then our first lesson was already over.

In the second lesson, we continued to look into the German holidays related to Children and discussed Silvester/New Year, Eastern, Fasching (the German carnival), the Children's day, Mother's day, and how birthdays are celebrated. Finally, we found out what German people eat: Different from Chinese, who like to warm/freshly cooked food for all three meals, German people usually warm only for lunch and cold food for breakfast and dinner. Then, we eat bread covered with butter on top of which we put either sausages or cheese. A typical German lunch often involves potatoes and, again, meat. After having discussed typical German dishes (and that Chinese often perceive them as too sour), the second lesson was over, too.

Teaching a class of primary school children about my culture was a very nice experience. The children were very curious, attentive, and asked interesting questions. Also I want to thank the teachers Mrs. Yang [杨老师] and Mrs. Cheng [程老师] for their support and for translating the class.

I also found that this primary school to be a very good example about the resources and efforts that China is investing in education. It does not only have a very nice and green campus, but also offers many extracurricular activities to the pupils, including, for instance, singing, dancing, painting, playing musical instruments — and the international culture class. And for each activity, there is a special, dedicated and nicely decorated room with the right equipment.

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