Our team warmly congratulates Dr. Xinlu Li to his promotion to Associate Processor [副教授]! This promotion is very well deserved and the result of seven years of continuous hard work and high performance as senior lecturer. Additionally, this year in February, Xinlu completed his PhD Degree at TU Dublin in Ireland and published a great article in an SCI/EI-indexed 2区 journal in August. Congratulations Xinlu!

Yesterday, on December 18, 2019, as a member of a small delegation from our Hefei University [合肥学院], I had the pleasure to participate in the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会] of the Anhui province, organized by the Department of Science and Technology of the Anhui Province [安徽省科学技术厅], the Hefei Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology [合肥市科学技术局], and Anhui University [安徽大学].

On December 18, 2019, at the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会], Prof. Dr. Thomas Weise was awarded the title Hefei Specially Recruited Foreign Expert [合肥市特聘外国专家证书] within the First Hefei Recruitment Program of Talented Foreigners [首批市"引进外国高端人才计划"] by the Hefei Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology [合肥市科学技术局], Hefei Municipal Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs [合肥市外国专家局].

Together with our colleagues Markus Wagner, Jörg Lässig, Bin Li, and Xingyi Zhang, we are organizing a Special Issue on "Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms" in the Applied Soft Computing (ASOC). We received quite a lot of very cool submissions until the deadline in April 2019. This is a virtual special issue, which means that the papers will immediately published when they have passed the editorial process and may appear in different physical issues and volumes of the journal. This has now happened for the first few of the submissions we have received. As a result, the journal website for our special issue is now online, too, at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/applied-soft-computing/special-issue/10LQLZBS7T4. We still have quite a few very interesting papers in our queue, which will appear step by step on that page as well.

From October 20 to 25, 2019, our Profs. Möhring and Weise took part in the Dagstuhl Seminar 19431 with the topic Theory of Randomized Optimization Heuristics, organized by Dr. Carola Doerr (Sorbonne University, Paris, France), Carlos M. Fonseca (University of Coimbra, Portugal), Tobias Friedrich, (Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Potsdam, Germany), and Xin Yao (Southern University of Science and Technology, China). Dagstuhl Seminars are invitation-based meetings taking place in Schloss Dagstuhl, a castle located slightly remotely near the city of Wadern, Germany. The remote location is intentional: Here, researchers can meet for, say, five days, to have in-depth discussions without distractions. This is what Dagstuhl Seminars are, and we were very happy and felt honoured to be invited to attend the seminar on theory on randomized optimization heuristics. Not only did the seminar give us the chance to catch up with old friends and plan future collaborations, there we also very interesting and fruitful research discussions. I (Thomas Weise) was particularly happy to see that the topic of benchmarking and algorithm configuration also becomes more and more interesting for theoreticians. I also learned a lot about the progress that theory on optimization has made the past few years. In summary, the seminar was a very very nice event which indeed brought us one or two steps forward in our research. Many thanks to the organizers for doing such a great job!

P.S. This was a very highly productive meeting. Here, the foundations for two works were laid, as shown below. The first work is as a joint efforts of a larger group of international researchers and the second one is by our IAO team:

  • Thomas Bartz-Beielstein, Carola Doerr, Jakob Bossek, Sowmya Chandrasekaran, Tome Eftimov, Andreas Fischbach, Pascal Kerschke, Manuel López-Ibáñez, Katherine M. Malan, Jason H. Moore, Boris Naujoks, Patryk Orzechowski, Vanessa Volz, Markus Wagner, Thomas Weise. Benchmarking in Optimization: Best Practice and Open Issues. Technical report available at arXiv:2007.03488v1 [cs.NE] 7 Jul 2020.
    pdf / pdf@arxiv
  • Thomas Weise, Zhize Wu, Xinlu Li, and Yan Chen. Frequency Fitness Assignment: Making Optimization Algorithms Invariant under Bijective Transformations of the Objective Function Value. Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation in January 2020. Preprint available at arXiv:2001.01416v3 [cs.NE] 17 Jun 2020.
    pdf / paper@arxiv / experimental results and source code data set @ doi:10.5281/zenodo.3899474

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