Evolutionary Computation in Practice

ECiP 2017: Berlin July 17th 2017


In the Evolutionary Computation in Practice (ECiP) track, well-known speakers with outstanding reputation in academia and industry present background and insider information on how to establish reliable cooperation with industrial partners. They actually run companies or are involved in cooperations between academia and industry.

If you attend, you will learn multiple ways to extend EC practice beyond the approaches found in textbooks. Experts in real-world optimization with decades of experience share their approaches to creating successful projects for real-world clients. Some of what they do is based on sound project management principles, and some is specific to our type of optimization projects.

A panel of experts describes a range of techniques you can use to identify, design, manage, and successfully complete an EA project for a client. If you are working in academia and are interested in managing industrial projects, you will receive valuable hints for your own research projects.


  • Session 1 (S-1): Bridging the gap between academia and industry (Chair: E. Goodman):
    How to establish & continue cooperation with industrial partners.
  • Session 2 (S-2): “Real” real-world optimization (Chair: T. Bartz-Beielstein):
    Best practice. Talks & Discussions.
  • Session 3 (S-3): Ask the experts / Getting a job (Chair: J.Mehnen and A. Fischbach):
    What to do and what not to do.


Session Time, Room Speaker Title Chair
S-1 10.40-12.20, Topas 1 K. Deb, Michigan State University Optimization and Learning Through Evolutionary Computation E. Goodman
S-1 10.40-12.20, Topas 1 B. Filipic, Jozef Stefan Institute A Collaborative Approach to Quality Control in Manufacturing E. Goodman
S-1 10.40-12.20, Topas 1 M. Affenzeller, HEAL Heuristic Optimization Networks in Production and Logistics E. Goodman
S-2 14.00-15.40, Topas 1 V. Kokot, MAGMA One Decade of Experience in Coupling a Genetic Algorithm with Casting Process Simulation T. Bartz-Beielstein
S-2 14.00-15.40, Topas 1 H. Shayani, Autodesk Research Evolutionary Computation in the Future of Making Things T. Bartz-Beielstein
S-2 14.00-15.40, Topas 1 D. Hein,
Siemens Corporate Technology
Particle Swarm Optimization Policy (PSO-P) for Industrial Reinforcement Learning Problems T. Bartz-Beielstein
S-2 14.00-15.40, Topas 1 F. Rehbach, A. Schagen, Steinmüller Babcock Environment Electrostatic Precipitator Optimization using a model-based Evolutionary Algorithm T. Bartz-Beielstein
S-3 16.10-17.50, Topas 1 R. Nugent, Springer Publishing your Research Work J. Mehnen
S-3 16.10-17.50, Topas 1 A. I. Esparcia-Alcázar, J. Mehnen, E. Goodman, T. Bartz-Beielstein Ask the experts / Getting a job A. Fischbach


Deb, Kalyan

Kalyanmoy Deb is Koenig Endowed Chair Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Michigan State University, USA. Prof. Deb’s research interests are in evolutionary optimization and their application in multi-criterion optimization, modeling, and machine learning. He has been a visiting professor at various universities across the world including IITs in India, Aalto University in Finland, University of Skovde in Sweden, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He was awarded Infosys Prize, TWAS Prize in Engineering Sciences, CajAstur Mamdani Prize, Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Kharagpur, Edgeworth-Pareto award, Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences, and Bessel Research award from Germany. He is fellow of IEEE, ASME, and three Indian science and engineering academies. He has published over 450 research papers with Google Scholar citation of over 100,000 with h-index 103. He is in the editorial board on 20 major international journals. More information about his research contribution can be found from http://www.coin-laboratory.com.

Filipic, Bogdan

Bogdan Filipic is a senior researcher and head of Computational Intelligence Group at the Department of Intelligent Systems of the Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and associate professor of Computer Science at the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School. He is an expert in stochastic optimization, evolutionary computation and intelligent data analysis. Recently he has been focusing on parallelization, use of surrogate models and visualization of results in evolutionary multiobjective optimization. He is also active in promoting evolutionary computation in practice and has led optimization projects for steel plants, automotive industry and energy distribution. He co-chaired the biennial BIOMA conference from 2004 to 2012, and served as the general chair of PPSN 2014. He was a guest lecturer at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in fall 2014, and was giving tutorials on industrial applications of evolutionary algorithms at WCCI 2014 and CEC 2015, and on visualization in multiobjective optimization at GECCO 2016 and CEC 2017.

Affenzeller, Michael

Michael Affenzeller has published several papers, journal articles and books dealing with theoretical and practical aspects of evolutionary computation, genetic algorithms, and meta-heuristics in general. In 2001 he received his PhD in engineering sciences and in 2004 he received his habilitation in applied systems engineering, both from the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. Michael Affenzeller is professor at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Campus Hagenberg, and head of the research group HEAL (heuristic and evolutionary algorithms laboratory). Since October 2014 he serves as the head of studies for the Master degree program Software Engineering and as vice-dean for R&D at the faculty of informatics, communications and media.

Kokot, Volker

Volker Kokot is a mathematician and computer scientist. He worked during his studies for his PhD on modules of Witt vectors, which he finished 2001. Shortly afterwards, he accepted a position in the software development team of MAGMA Giessereitechnologie GmbH, Aachen, Germany. The company develops a well-established casting process simulation software.

The very first project he has worked on at MAGMA has been creating and integrating an optimization module into the product, including the coupling of a genetic algorithm with the casting process simulation. 16 years after he started his career at MAGMA, optimization has become an integral component of the simulation software. Today, Volker is responsible for optimization, domain specific modelling and user experience in the software development group.

Shayani, Hooman

Hooman Shayani is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at Autodesk Research. He is part of the Design Research team in the office of the CTO, working on Dreamcatcher project, among other projects. His research at Autodesk has been focused on Generative Design, light-weighting, simulation and optimization of mechanical systems for additive manufacturing in different industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, tooling, and sports. Hooman joined Autodesk in 2014 through acquisition of Within Technologies. Prior to Autodesk, he was co-founder and Head of R&D at Within Technologies. He has co-founded few other companies in the areas of Additive Manufacturing, product customization, and AI. During his career, he has been a university lecturer, managing director, embedded system and robot designer, developer, and 3D animator. He has a BSc. in Computer Science from BIHE, a MSc. in Intelligent Systems from UCL, and a PhD in Evolvable Hardware from UCL. His thesis was on evolution of developmental neural networks on FPGAs. He is self-taught in FEA and digital hardware design and has published papers on evolutionary algorithms, bio-inspired computing, evolvable hardware, and patents on Additive Manufacturing and Generative Design.

Nugent, Ronan

An electronics engineer by training, I developed embedded hardware and software systems for a control and communications company, and then I was a partner in a campus company developing an imaging technology. I joined Springer in 2000, where I’m a senior publishing editor. I am responsible for textbooks and monographs in theoretical computer science, bioinspired computing, artificial intelligence, cryptography, and information security; a number of handbooks, including the Springer Handbook of Natural Computing; and 16 journals in theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

Hein, Daniel

Daniel Hein is a research scientist at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich, Germany, working in the area of applied machine learning and reinforcement learning. He received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, Germany, in 2011 and the M.Sc. degree in Informatics from the Technische Universität München, Germany, in 2014. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Informatics at Technische Universität München, Germany. His main research interests include evolutionary algorithms, particle swarm optimization, genetic programming, interpretable reinforcement learning, and industrial applications of machine learning approaches.

Rehbach, Frederik

Frederik Rehbach is currently finishing his master’s thesis in cooperation with Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH. He is persuing his master in the field of Automation & IT, at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS). In parallel he is starting his work as a research associate in the SPOTSeven Lab and planning a Ph.D. in Informatics in cooperation with TU Dortmund. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with the main focus on automation. With a strong background in programming his main research interest is the practical applicability of Evolutionary Algorithms.

Schagen, Andre

Head of Product Development
Department Gas Cleaning
Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH

Organizers, Session Chairs

Bartz-Beielstein, Thomas

Since 2006, when he became a professor for Applied Mathematics at TH Köln, Thomas has built a research team of international status and visibility. He is head of the research center Computational Intelligence plus (CIplus) at TH Köln and initiator of the SPOTSeven team. His expertise lies in optimization, simulation, and statistical analysis of complex real-world problems. He is one of the leaders in the field of statistical analysis of optimization algorithms and the inventor and the driving force behind the sequential parameter optimization technology (SPOT).

Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.

Universidad Politecnica de Valencia

Fischbach, Andreas

Andreas is doing a cooperative PhD at TH Köln and TU Dortmund. After his study of Computer Science at the Technical University of Dortmund he received his Diploma in 2009. Until 2013 he worked as Software Engineer with a main focus on developing Web Applications using Java. Since then he is a member of the SpotSeven Lab, working as scientific researcher at the TH Köln as co-worker of Prof. Bartz-Beielstein dealing with methods from the fields of computational intelligence and data mining and its industrial applications. His research interest focus on design of experiment, data modeling and optimization.

Goodman, Erik

Erik D. Goodman is PI and Director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University, funded at $47.5 million for 2010-20, with a diverse research program and extensive education and outreach programs. BEACON now has a very diverse membership of over 600, including evolutionary biologists and computer scientists/engineers studying evolutionary computation or digital evolution. Goodman received the Ph.D., computer and communication sciences, University of Michigan, 1972. He joined MSU’s faculty in Electrical Engineering and Systems Science in 1971, was promoted to full professor in 1984, and also holds appointments in Mechanical Engineering and in Computer Science and Engineering, in which he has guided many Ph.D. students. He directed the Case Center for Computer-Aided Engineering and Manufacturing from 1983-2002, and founded and directed MSU’s Manufacturing Research Consortium from 1993-2003. He co-founded MSU’s Genetic Algorithms Research and Applications Group (GARAGe) in 1993, conducting many projects under industrial sponsorship. In 1999, he co-founded Red Cedar Technology, Inc., (now a subsidiary of Siemens) which develops design optimization software, and was Vice President for Technology until BEACON was founded in 2010. He was chosen Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year, 2009, by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. He was given MSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011. He was Chair of the Executive Board and a Senior Fellow of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, 2003-2005, and was the founding chair of ACM’s SIG on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO) in 2005.

Mehnen, Jörn

University of Strathclyde


Dedicated to the discussion of issues related to the practical application of EC. Organized in cooperation with Synergy Project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 692286.