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Today, our paper "An Improved Generic Bet-and-Run Strategy with Performance Prediction for Stochastic Local Search," co-authored by Thomas Weise, Zijun Wu, and Markus Wagner, has been accepted at the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-19) to be held in January 27 to February 1, 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

Thomas Weise, Zijun Wu, and Markus Wagner. An Improved Generic Bet-and-Run Strategy with Performance Prediction for Stochastic Local Search. Proceedings of the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2019), January 27 – February 1, 2019, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Palo Alto, CA, USA: AAAI Press. accepted for publication

Portrait of Dr. Zhen LIU.

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The Institute of Applied Optimization welcomes Xinlu Li [李新路], who today has officially joined our team as researcher. He also currently is finishing his PhD in Computer Science under the supervision of Dr. Fred Mtenzi and Dr. Brian Keegan at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Dublin, Ireland. He received his M.Sc. from Anhui University [安徽大学], Hefei, Anhui, China in 2009. His research is focused on energy efficient routing protocol design for large-scale Wireless Sensor Networks based on Swarm Intelligence Algorithms.

We are very happy to have Mr. Li in our team and look forward to working together on many interesting applications of optimization methods.

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On October 30, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the chair for Artificial Intelligence and Software Technology (KIST) of Prof. Dr. Manfred Schmidt-Schauß at the Computer Science Institute, Computer Science and Mathematics Department of the Goethe University Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Prof. Schmidt-Schauß and his group are following several highly interesting strands of research centered around functional programming languages and program analysis. For instance, they work on the static analyses of programs and expressions, including termination analysis, demand analysis, and strictness analysis, which are important topics for compilers of (non-strict) functional programming languages. They work on understanding the observational semantics of functional programming languages with call-by-need evaluation in the contexts of studying extended lambda-calculi and concurrent computation. Another one of their research topics is understanding the side effects of input/output operations in lazy functional programming languages. They also conduct research on unification, i.e., solving equations in a logical form, encompassing unification in equational theories, sorted unification, combination of unification algorithms and unification in higher order logics. Finally, they work on knowledge representation, and investigate the properties of concept description languages and their reasoning behavior and complexity.

It was very nice to meet Prof. Schmidt-Schauß and his group. I am very thankful for their hospitality and for the nice discussion as well as the kind reception of my talk.

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On October 29, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the Simulation and Modelling (SIM) group of Prof. Dr. Helena Szczerbicka at the Institut of Systems Engineering (ISE) of the Leibniz University Hannover in Hannover, Germany.

The SIM group conducts fundamental and applied research in the fields of modeling, simulation, and optimization. They are especially interested in the modeling of complex systems (such as technical processes) with discrete simulations, stochastic Petri nets, and multi-agent systems, the analysis of models, the simulation of algorithms in the domain of "search & rescue", bio-inspired algorithms for optimization of networks, anomaly detection, online simulations for control (e.g., in construction side vehicles and heat distribution networks, as well as algorithms and standards for co-simulation (e.g. ACOSAR). Prof. Szczerbicka furthermore is a highly respected member of the Society for Computer Simulation International, in which she had several leading positions for several years.

It was very nice to meet Prof. Szczerbicka and her group and my presentation was received well. I very much enjoyed the very interesting and inspiring discussion afterwards.

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On October 26, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the junior professor chair for information systems and operations research of Prof. Dr. Lin Xie at the Institute of Information Systems (IIS) of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Prof. Xie has contributed valuable research on applied optimization, covering topics such as automated warehousing fulfillment systems and crew rostering. She emphasizes on the importance of modelling for making complex decisions. Application areas with such scenarios are often logistics and transportation, such as public bus systems. Another application field processed by Prof. Xie and her group is the assessment and developments of algorithms for routing multiple robots through warehouses in order to transport items for storage. This work is actually quite related to our research direction on rigorous performance analysis of algorithms, but also features other important aspects. Her other areas of interest include operations research and data science.

Meeting Prof. Xie and her group was very nice and my talk was received with interest by a large audience. The positive feedback on the talk was very encouraging and the following discussion with Prof. Xie was very interesting – especially since our works on algorithm analysis are highly related.

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