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Mr. Markus Ullrich, researcher at the Enterprise Application Development (EAD) group of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz (HZG, Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz), gave the talk "An Application Meta-Model to Support the Execution and Benchmarking of Scientific Applications in Multi-Cloud Environments" on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 14:00 (2pm) in Hefei University [合肥学院] in the Lecture Room 308 at the third floor of Building 35 [合肥学院 计算机科学与技术系 合肥市 230601蜀山区 经济技术开发区 南2区/南艳湖校区 锦绣大道99号 35栋 308教室]. [poster]

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.

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Senior Lecturer Dr. Markus Wagner from the Optimisation and Logistics Group of the School of Computer Science of The University of Adelaide, SA, Australia presented the research talk "Two Real-World Optimisation Problems Related to Energy" on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 15:00 in Hefei University [合肥学院] in the Meeting Room of the Faculty of Computer Science and Technology, Building 36, 3rd Floor, Room 305 [合肥学院 计算机科学与技术系 合肥市 230601蜀山区 经济技术开发区 南2区/南艳湖校区 锦绣大道99号 36栋 305会议室]. There was quite a big audience for the talk, both from HFUU members as well as other researchers from Hefei. [poster, slides (android energy consumption), slides (wave energy)]

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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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Senior Lecturer Dr. Markus Wagner from the Optimisation and Logistics Group of the School of Computer Science of The University of Adelaide, SA, Australia presented the research talk "Approximation-Guided Many-Objective Optimisation and the Travelling Thief Problem" on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 08:40 to 09:30 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 is followed by the talks "Automating Scientific Research in Optimization" by Prof. Weise and "Species-based PSO for Continuous Dynamic Constrained Optimization" by Associate Prof. Dr. Wenjian Luo (USTC). The audiences of all presented talks were quite big and interesting discussions ensued. [poster, slides]

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Today, I attended the Shanghai Smart Home Technology (SSHT) [上海国际智能家居展览会] and Shanghai Intelligent Building Technology (SIBT) [上海国际智能建筑展览会] exhibitions in Shanghai. SIBT is an event for innovative intelligent building technologies and solutions related to the Internet of Things (IOT), cloud computing, and big data for building energy efficiency, energy management systems, and intelligent housing in general. SSHT, on the other hand, focuses more on home automation, technologies, technical integration, and cross-sector business collaboration in order to make our homes more convenient.

The exhibition was maybe slightly larger than the other fairs that I have visited this year and also had a higher visitor density. Also, almost all presenters at almost all booths there were permanently engaged in discussions with interested audience. It was clearly visible that there currently is a huge marked for smart homes and smart buildings with high consumer interest.

Many different companies presented diverse products. In my perception, the largest share of products were automation tools for end consumers such as automated switches maybe controlled via a mobile phone app, multi-functional sockets and switches with LCD displays, actuators such as automated curtain openers (maybe controlled via an app), intelligent locking and surveillance systems, and integrated home entertainment systems. There were providers of electronic building blocks for IOT applications, integrating, and controlling other systems for developing other applications and there were network infrastructure providers. Fewer, but present, were software vendors for building control and management software as well as home robotics.

I would say that the gravitational center of the exhibits was the convenience of the user. If we leave aside the new entertainment systems, I think most of the exhibitions were on better interfaces: nicer switches and apps with which you can turn on and off basically everything in your home. The fraction of truly intelligent systems, e.g., systems that would try to learn from and predict the user behavior or that would try to predict future events or changing environment conditions and adjust the home or building behavior to them, seemed to be smaller (but then again, I cannot really understand Chinese, so I may have overlooked some interesting exhibits).

Given the huge audience at the fairs and the market they represent, I would say that must be a huge future for intelligent homes and buildings. I saw some product frameworks which aim at the higher-level control over and the management of buildings and components. Given the already existing network infrastructure of the components, especially for large building compounds or office buildings (both of which we have many in China), intelligent technologies for water and energy saving, lighting or elevator control, automated cleaning robots, and maintenance scheduling will surely have a great market. And, of course, optimization, operations research, and machine learning could enable and improve on them.

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