Posts Tagged ‘Conferences’
Last week I was at EuroGP where I presented my latest paper “Automatic Design of Ant Algorithms with Grammatical Evolution” (pdf, slides) and it won the Best Paper Award! I am very happy with this distinction since EuroGP is the leading conference on Genetic Programming attended by the best researchers in the field.
In this paper, a Grammatical Evolution approach is used for the automatic design of Ant Colony Optimization algorithms. The used grammar has the ability to guide the learning of novel architectures, by rearranging components regularly found on manually designed variants (for example, the Elitist Ant-System, the Ant Colony System or the Max-Min Ant System). This approach was tested with the TSP and the results show that the evolved algorithmic strategies are effective, exhibit a good generalization capability and are competitive with human designed variants. This is still a starting point and there is a large amount of work to be done but the indications given by these results are encouraging!
This year the conference took place in Málaga, Spain, as part of Evo* as usual. The event was great with an excellent organization lead by Carlos Cotta. It was a fantastic Evo*! Next year it will be held in Wien!
Last week I was in Dublin for GECCO. It was good to return to a conference that I haven’t been for quite some time, especially because it was in Europe. I presented my work at the new Self-* Search track and the feedback I got was good. The organization was also great, at least from what I’ve experienced (I was not at the poster session which I was told was not that good because of some Karaoke!?). The weather was also nice in Dublin which made my stay in Dublin a pleasant one :-)
Last week I was in Turin for Evo* 2011. It was a nice event and it is always good to meet again friends and collegues. However, Evo* has lots of parallel sessions and so it becomes impossible to see everything you want or would like. This year I decided to focus a bit more than previous times and just attended EuroGP sessions (several), EvoCOP (two) and EvoSTOC (one). Although some of the talks were interesting I didn’t see anything really out of extraordinary. Still, you always learn something new. The invited talks were also ok but lacked that inspiring touch, as oposed to the ones in PPSN last year. Regarding my talk, the feedback was positive and I had two ideas that might be good to experiment with. As for the organization, it was the usual but the lunches were really not that great (my only complain I must say). Next year it’s going to be in Málaga, Spain, organized by Carlos Cotta and J.J. Merelo. I think we can only expect a great event!
These last days I was at PPSN 2010 in Krakow, Poland. I must say it was a very good conference, well, at least for me! The main reason was really the feedback I got related to my work. Not only was mostly positive and with some suggestions to where I should move forward, I even was able to have a good conversation with one of the actual reviewers of the paper. And since it was a critical review, the talk ended up being quite useful. On top of this, I also manage to have interesting discussions with other participants about some other specifics. I must point out that I really enjoyed the discussions with Alberto Moraglio. Who knows if now I can manage to solve more efficiently an old problem of mine… ;-)
About the conference itself, it really met the expectations. The quality of the works was good and the model just works! You are able to see and be aware of all the different and sometimes very interesting works that get to be accepted. Not having any parallel sessions is the big plus of PPSN. The invited talks were also amazing, specifically by Hans-Paul Schwefel and Zbigniew Michalewicz. The first talk was inspirational in the sense that we should really pay more attention to what is out there in the natural world. The second talk was simply excellent. Michalewicz showed everyone how theory meets the real-world. Definitely one of the best talks I ever seen.
From the scientific point of view, this PPSN was one of the best conferences I’ve attend. The organization was not perfect but I guess it was ok. The space for the posters was very small (the first session was really complicated to walk around and talk to people) and the second room for the tutorials and workshops was a bit far from the main area.
I look forward for the next PPSN in 2012!
For the next days I will be attending PPSN 2010, in Krakow, Poland. I was here for the venue two years ago and it was a conference that I enjoyed very much. Mostly because of the model which is different from the standard ones (poster only format, absence of parallel sessions and a summary presentation of the papers by a senior session chair).
I will be talking about my lastest work which ties together two techniques that I’ve always wanted to do some serious work with them: Ant Systems and Genetic Programming. In this first paper, I am using GP to evolve an Ant System component. A key issue in AS research is how to design the communication mechanism between ants that allows them to effectively solve a problem. We propose in this work to evolve the current pheromone trail update methods. We tested with the TSP and initial results show that the evolved strategies perform well and exhibit a good generalization capability when applied to larger instances.
Doing this work was also very fun and it was all made in Lisp. I just need to improve the code a bit and package it nicely before making it free available.
Anyway, I wish PPSN 2010 will be an interesting conference!