IEEE CEC 2011: Post-conference Thoughts

by Amit

I am currently sitting by the window of my 10th floor of my hotel room and New Orleans looks beautiful at this time of the night. The neon glows of the hotels and shops around and the lights of those huge wooden/steel bodies on the mighty Mississippi is quite a spectacle for my bespectacled eyes. The IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation 2011 concluded today.  Over three days of paper and poster presentations, plenary lectures, cruise dinner on the steamboat Natchez and the sumptuous banquet last night, it was an awesome conference. Thank you Dr. Alice Smith and congratulations on the wonderful conference, which must have given you a lot of sleepless nights.

Here are some rough notes/thoughts/rants on the conference:

Plenary lectures

Each of the three days of the conference began with a plenary lecture. Natalio Krasnagor delivered the lecture on the first day talking about his work at the confluence of Natural sciences and Evolutionary Algorithms. Holger Hoos delivered the lecture on the 2nd day  where he had a lot of interesting things to talk about his research and mostly on topics of automating software development, having more degrees of freedom in software and algorithm selecting algorithms. Hod Lipson delivered the last of the plenary lectures and demonstrated his work on Evolutionary robotics and his super work, Eureqa. A lot to take home from each of these lectures. Enlightening and inspiring.

Interesting ideas/papers presented

  • A lot of work is being done on Genetic Programming, mainly as tools — in varied domains, from edge detection to blog network modeling. Once the IEEE CEC proceedings are indexed by IEEExplore, it would be very interesting to go through these papers. Available here.
  • Multi-view classification
  • Representation plays a key role in EAs and Daniel Ashlock‘s tutorial on this topic was (or supposed to be) quite enlightening, but I think I was busy doing something else. However, I intend to go through the slides he used and get an idea of the variety of representation schemes for different applications.


I usually tend to set high standards for myself and more often than not fail to achieve them, which ofcourse doesn’t deter me in setting them in the first place. Seeing a lot of “well known” people in this field presenting trivial works at a premier conference was quite disheartening. One good thing it does is that it makes me feel that may be I should be a little gentle to myself.

I wanted to change the world, but they lied to us

I don’t know about you, but I almost always think myself to be the cover page of the major world news papers or its nearest domain equivalent, whenever I do something cool/nice/interesting (according to myself, ofcourse). I thought writing up a paper titled “How does the good old GA perform at Real World Optimization?” would irk a lot of people and elicit reactions out of them. I guess nothing really matters. Sigh.

Well, anyway I am taking back a lot from this conference at the Big Easy. Good bye Poboy’s and Gumbo!