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.

]]>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.

Fifteenth International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature (PPSN XV)

September 8-9, 2018 in Coimbra, Portuga

http://iao.hfuu.edu.cn/bbdob-ppsn18

The Black-Box Discrete Optimization Benchmarking Workshop (BB-DOB@PPSN), a part of the Fifteenth International Conference on Parallel Problem Solving from Nature (PPSN XV), is cordially inviting the submission of original and unpublished research papers. Here you can download the BB-DOB@PPSN Workshop Call for Papers (CfP) in PDF format and here as plain text file.

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.** We want to produce:

- a well-motivated benchmark function testbed,
- a standardized experimental set-up,
- rules for measuring and the generation of data output, and
- standardized post-processing and presentations for the results in graphs and tables.

The accepted papers in this workshop will NOT be included in the conference proceedings. This workshop has no proceedings. Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit extended versions of these papers to the Special Issue on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms appearing in the Computational Intelligence journal by Wiley Periodicals Inc., indexed by EI and SCI.

Disclaimer: Two BB-DOB workshops will take place in 2018, i.e., the first edition as BB-DOB@GECCO and the second edition as BB-DOB@PPSN. Both are independent events of the same series.

For more information please contact Pietro S. Oliveto at p.oliveto@sheffield.ac.uk.

This workshop is organized as part of the ImAppNIO Cost Action 15140.

]]>2018 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO 2018)

July 15-19, 2018 in Kyoto, Japan

http://iao.hfuu.edu.cn/bbdob-gecco18

The Black-Box Discrete Optimization Benchmarking Workshop (BB-DOB@GECCO), a part of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO 2018), is cordially inviting the submission of original and unpublished research papers. Here you can download the BB-DOB@GECCO Workshop Call for Papers (CfP) in PDF format and here as plain text file.

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.** We want to produce:

- a well-motivated benchmark function testbed,
- a standardized experimental set-up,
- rules for measuring and the generation of data output, and
- standardized post-processing and presentations for the results in graphs and tables.

All accepted papers in this workshop will be included in the Companion Material Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference 2018 published by ACM and indexed by EI. Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit extended versions of these papers to the Special Issue on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms appearing in the Computational Intelligence journal by Wiley Periodicals Inc., indexed by EI and SCI.

Disclaimer: Two BB-DOB workshops will take place in 2018, i.e., the first edition as BB-DOB@GECCO and the second edition as BB-DOB@PPSN. Both are independent events of the same series.

For more information please contact Pietro S. Oliveto at p.oliveto@sheffield.ac.uk.

This workshop is organized as part of the ImAppNIO Cost Action 15140.

]]>Today, I had the honor to attend and even speak at a panel of the *China (Hefei) Artificial Intelligence International Youth Summit* [[中国（合肥）人工智能国际青年峰会||http://yoopay.cn/event/91847095]] organized under the guidance of the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence [[中国人工智能学会||http://caai.cn]] (CAAI) and the China Computer Federation [[中国计算机学会||http://www.ccf.org.cn/]] (CCF) as the delegate of our university [[合肥学院||http://www.hfuu.edu.cn]]. The conference was a very nice experience and I enjoyed the different talks and discussions at the event. Here I want to shortly summarize some impressions. The summit agenda is preserved here.

The talk was open for all interested audiences and presented a really nice and easy-to-understand introduction to quantum computing from the perspective of algorithms. Quantum computing seems to become a real possibility in the near future, with IBM making a 20-qubit computer available through their "Q-Experience" program via the web for any user and announcing a 50-qubit computer. In his interesting lecture on this exciting topic, Prof. Lässig explained the basic mathematics and features of quantum computations and gave live demonstrations of two algorithms on the IBM system via the web. This way, the audience obtained a basic understanding on how to write programs for quantum computers within only 1.5 hours of time.

This talk followed directly the presentation "An Application Meta-Model to Support the Execution and Benchmarking of Scientific Applications in Multi-Cloud Environments" by Mr. Markus Ullrich in the same room, which started at 14:00.

]]>The talk was open for all interested audiences. First, the opportunities of cloud computing were presented and a use-case from scientific computing, which can tremendously benefit from the opportunities of the cloud, was given. The question about how to best match the requirements for resources, such as processors, I/O, storage space, and runtime of a given application to the environments available for rent from a cloud provider was proposed. Mr. Ullrich introduced a meta-model for this purpose, which is unique in its ability to represent all the relevant features of this question instead of concentrating of single aspects. His talk was followed by an interesting and inspiring discussion with the audience.

This talk was directly followed by the lecture "Understanding Quantum Computing - Computing Model and Algorithms" by Prof. Dr. Jörg Lässig starting at 15:10 (3pm) in the same room.

]]>On Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 09:30 to 10:20, I presented my research talk "Automating Scientific Research in Optimization" in Anhui University (AHU) [[安徽大学]], Conference Hall on the First Floor below of the Xingzhi Building [[安徽大学磬苑校区行知楼负一楼报告厅]] at the Symposium on Evolutionary Computation [[进化计算领域专家系列学术报告会]] under the organization of Professors Xingyi Zhang (Anhui University) and Bin Li (USTC) for the IEEE CIS Hefei Chapter. The talk followed the presentation "Approximation-Guided Many-Objective Optimisation and the Travelling Thief Problem" by our guest researcher Dr. Markus Wagner, Senior Lecturer from the Optimisation and Logistics Group of the School of Computer Science of The University of Adelaide, Australia and, in turn, was followed by the talk "Species-based PSO for Continuous Dynamic Constrained Optimization" by Associate Prof. Dr. Wenjian Luo (USTC). All talks are open for any interested audience. [poster, slides]

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