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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/).

Quantifying and comparing the performance of optimization algorithms is one important aspect of research in search and optimization. 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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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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Today, the Nobel laureat Prof. Mario J. Molina visited our Hefei University [合肥学院] and gave the talk "Global Sustainability and Climate Change: Science, Policy and Risks" in our library, just across our institute's building. Prof. Molina is one of the world's leading experts on climate and sustainability. He is professor at University of California, San Diego and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He received a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research on the impact of CFC on the ozon layer and was one of the consultants advising the Obama administration in climate issues. Today, he was awarded the honorary professor title of our university. Here, I want to summarize his highly interesting talk on the challenges we face when trying to achieve sustainability, i.e., an economy and way of life which does not threat the well-being of future generations.

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Today, I attended a Spring Festival Get-Together [合肥市春节团拜会] held by the Hefei Municipal Government. After short welcome speeches by the representatives of the city government, an array of great singers, dancers, and comedians delivered absolute astonishing and impressing performances. I am very happy and thankful for being invited to such a nice event.

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