02 Jul 2012 @ 12:05 PM 

A new paper on the use of memetic versions of the cross entropy method for the Tool Switching Problem has been accepted in the International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems. The abstract of the paper follows:

This paper presents a parameterized schema for building memetic algorithms based on cross-entropy (CE) methods. This novel schema is general in nature, and features multiple probability mass functions and Lamarckian learning. The applicability of the approach is assessed by considering the Tool Switching Problem, a complex combinatorial problem in the field of Flexible Manufacturing Systems. An exhaustive evaluation (including techniques ranging from local search and evolutionary algorithms to constructive methods) provides evidence of the effectiveness of CE-based memetic algorithms.

The details of the paper are:

J.E. Amaya, C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández, Cross entropy-based memetic algorithms: An application study over the tool switching problem, International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems, 2012, accepted


 02 Jul 2012 @ 11:58 AM 

A paper on the evolution of programs for procedural content generation in video games has been accepted in the Soft Computing Journal. The abstract of the paper follows:

Nowadays the video game industry is facing a big challenge to keep costs under control as games become bigger and more complex. Creation of game content, such as character models, maps, levels, textures, sound effects and so on, represent a big slice of total game production cost. Hence, the video game industry is increasingly turning to procedural content generation to amplify the cost-effectiveness of the efforts of video game designers. However, procedural methods for automated content generation are difficult to create and parametrize. In this work we study a genetic programming-based procedural content technique to generate procedural terrains that do not require parametrization, thus, allowing to save time and help reducing production costs. Generated procedural terrains present aesthetic appeal; however, unlike most techniques involving aesthetic, our approach does not require a human to perform the evaluation. Instead, the search is guided by the weighted sum of two morphological metrics: terrain accessibility and obstacle edge length. The combination of the two metrics allowed us to find a wide range of fit terrains that present more scattered obstacles in different locations than our previous approach with a single metric. Procedural terrains produced by this technique are already in use in a real video game.

The details of the paper are:

M. Frade, F. Fernández de Vega, C. Cotta, Automatic Evolution of Programs for Procedural Generation of Terrains for Video Games – Accessibility and Edge Length Constraints, Soft Computing, 2012, accepted, DOI:10.1007/s00500-012-0863-z

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2012 @ 10:01 AM

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 02 Jul 2012 @ 11:50 AM 

A new paper on the use of MAs in user-centric contexts has been accepted for publication in the Soft Computing Journal. The abstract of the paper follows:

Memetic algorithms (MAs) constitute a metaheuristic optimization paradigm (usually based on the synergistic combination of an evolutionary algorithm (EA) and trajectory-based optimization techniques) that systematically exploits the knowledge about the problem being solved and that has shown its efficacy to solve many combinatorial optimization problems. However, when the search depends heavily on human-expert’s intuition the task of managing the problem knowledge might be really difficult or even indefinable/impossible; the so-called interactive evolutionary computation (IEC) helps to mitigate this problem by enabling the human user to interacts with an EA during the optimization process.

Interactive memetic algorithms can be constructed as reactive models in which the MA continuously demands the intervention of the human user; this approach has the drawback that provokes fatigue to the user. This paper considers user-centric memetic algorithms, a more global perspective of interactive MAs since it hints possibilities for the system to be proactive rather than merely interactive, i.e., to
anticipate some of the user behavior and/or exhibit some degree of creativity, and provides some guidelines for the design of two different models for user-centric MAs, namely reactive and proactive search-based schema. An experimental study over two complex NP-hard problems, namely the Traveling Salesman problem and a Gene Ordering Problem, shows that user-centric MAs are in general effective optimization methods although the proactive approach provides additional advantages.

The paper details are:

A.R. Badillo, J. Ruiz, C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández-Leiva, On User-Centric Memetic Algorithms, Soft Computing, 2012, accepted, DOI:10.1007/s00500-012-0893-6

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 02 Jul 2012 @ 11:50 AM

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 29 Sep 2011 @ 10:21 AM 

Journal of Systems Science and Complexity
Springer – ISSN: 1009-6124 (print version) ISSN: 1559-7067 (electronic version)

Special Issue on Complex Systems and Sports


AIMS and SCOPE

Complex networks are networks with non-trivial topological features (scale-free degree distribution, high clustering coefficient or small-world properties). They sit at the edge of chaos between regular lattices and fully random networks, and can capture many natural and social phenomena, e.g., gene interactions or social relationships. In particular, team sports have a strong network component, since they are essentially a network developed along time and space, with nodes being players and links being passes and other interactions. The network paradigm allows for a strong quantitative description of a whole match, while at the same time offers some insight on how performance is achieved. This could result, eventually, in a prediction of game outcome according to network characteristics. Complex networks, and thus emergent behavior, appear also in other aspects: transfers, and even sports support and interaction among them.

Complex networks are an example of complex systems, a paradigm that has been applied in the past to sports and which is the focus of this special issue. There are many aspects in the dynamics of sports (related to scoring, performance, etc.) that can be analyzed from this general perspective in order to
model the game, find hidden patterns and phase transitions, etc. From an even more general viewpoint, the analysis can be extended beyond the actual game dynamics and tackle other sport-related issues: transfer networks, sport fans networks and their dynamics, etc. Submissions dealing with the use of complex systems in this context are welcome.

Related topics thus include (but are not limited to):

  • Complex networks in team-sport games
  • Networks of teams
  • Transfer networks
  • Relationship between economics and complex networks in sports
  • Sports fans networks and their dynamics
  • Complex systems analysis and simulation of robotics sports
  • In general, anything that bridges the gap between complex systems and sports
  • Agent-based models of sport games
  • Complex systems and sports physiology

Both theoretical and applied works related to the topics of the special issue are sought. The target audience of the special issue is composed of computer, social and sports scientists, interested in unravelling the dynamics and emergent patterns of games in team sports.

ABOUT JSSC

The Journal of Systems Science and Complexity is a quarterly journal indexed in the Science Citation Index (impact factor = 0.564 in 2010).

Further information at:

http://www.springer.com/mathematics/applications/journal/11424

IMPORTANT DATES

Submission of papers: December 31st, 2011
Notification of acceptance: March 31st, 2012
Final versions due: April 30th, 2012

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

The manuscript should be written in English with an informative abstract of no more than 200 words and 5 key words maximum. The manuscript should be concise and grammatically correct. It should be typed double-spaced and include an abbreviated title with no more than 40 English characters for the running head. Authors are requested to type all letters and mathematical symbols clearly. References should be cited in the text with numerals in square brackets, e.g. [3]. All references should appear and be numbered in a separate bibliography at the end of the paper. Papers should be typeset in LaTeX (or AMSTeX, TeX).

Please, submit a PDF version of the paper to

sports.jssc (at) gmail (dot) com

EDITORS

J.J. Merelo <jmerelo(at)geneura(dot)ugr(dot)es>,
Universidad de Granada, Spain

A.M. Mora <amorag(at)geneura(dot)ugr(dot)es>,
Universidad de Granada, Spain

C. Cotta <ccottap(at)lcc(dot)uma(dot)es>,
Universidad de Malaga, Spain.

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 29 Sep 2011 @ 10:26 AM

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 18 Jul 2011 @ 1:54 PM 
Este 12 de julio se ha publicado en el BOJA la convocatoria de las plazas de personal investigador en formación
Se informa que se ha concedido una beca pre-doctoral (48 meses) adscritas al  proyecto de excelencia (Motriz) titulado:
 OPTIMIZACIÓN INTERACTIVA EN SISTEMAS DISTRIBUIDOS PARA LA OBTENCIÓN DE SOLUCIONES SUBJETIVAMENTE INTERESANTES MEDIANTE HEURÍSTICAS BIOINSPIRADAS Y MODELOS DE COOPERACIÓN HÍBRIDOS (TIC-6083)
  
incentivado con cargo a la convocatoria de 2010 de la Junta de Andalucía. Para su conocimiento se informa que el plazo de presentación de solicitudes será desde el día 13 hasta las 18 horas del día 29 de julio. El proceso de evaluación por parte del investigador principal (en este caso Antonio José Fernández Leiva, miembro del proyecto asociado a esta pagina web) de las solicitudes presentadas se efectuará en la segunda quincena del mes de septiembre.

Os animamos a solicitarla…….,

Posted By: Antonio J. Fernández
Last Edit: 18 Jul 2011 @ 01:54 PM

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Categories: General

 07 Jul 2011 @ 11:55 AM 

Soft Computing – A Fusion of Foundations, Methodologies and Applications
Springer – ISSN: 1432-7643 (print version) ISSN: 1433-7479 (electronic version)

Special issue on Evolutionary Music


IMPORTANT DATES

  • Full paper submission: December 15, 2011
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 10, 2011.
  • Completed Draft of Lead Article: March 10, 2012.
  • Final Manuscripts to Publishers: April 1, 2012.

 

Guest Editors

  • Francisco Fernández de Vega,
    Department of Computers and Communications Technology. Universidad de Extremadura, Spain,
    email: fcofdez(at)unex.es
  • Carlos Cotta,
    Department of Languages and Computer Science. Universidad de Málaga, Spain,
    email: ccottap(at)lcc.uma.es
  • Eduardo R. Miranda,
    Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR), University of Plymouth, UK,
    email: eduardo.miranda(at)plymouth.ac.uk

 

AIMS AND SCOPE

We are very pleased to invite you to submit your paper for consideration for a special issue of the Soft Computing journal: Evolutionary Music.

Computing technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in all aspects of music. Smart sound design and synthetic music pervades a wide range of creative practices, from avant-garde contemporary music to entertainment media for mass consumption. Computer technologies are having a profound impact on how music is studied, composed, performed, listened to, stored and distributed. For instance, software sound synthesis techniques offer musicians the possibility of creating bespoke digital musical instruments capable of producing an unprecedented range of novel sounds; and Computational Intelligence techniques allow for the design of sophisticated composition methods that would have been impossible to conceive otherwise. We are proposing a special issue that deals with all aspects of bio-inspired algorithms and their application to music-oriented tasks, e.g., automatic composition, classification, improvisation, harmonization, to name but a few. The interest in the topic has steadily grown during the last few years, and we believe this special issue on the topic will be welcome by the community.

Authors are invited to submit their original and unpublished work in the conjunctions of both areas of Evolutionary Computation and Music. Manuscripts must follow author guidelines for the journal specified in

http://www.springer.com/engineering/journal/500

and must be submitted by email to fcofdez(at)unex.es indicating – Special Issue ECMUSIC – by the closing date (December 15, 2011). All submitted papers will be reviewed according to the standards of the Soft Computing Journal. Selection criteria will be based on relevance, originality, significance, impact, technical soundness and quality of the paper. Contributions are expected to provide original results, insights and experimental
innovations.

Please contact the above editors if you need further information.

 

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 07 Jul 2011 @ 11:55 AM

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 07 Jul 2011 @ 11:52 AM 

A workshop on Evolutionary Music (ECMUSIC 2011) took place in New Orleans in the context of the 2011 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation. The workshop, organized by Francisco Fernández de Vega and Carlos Cotta, was devoted to the use of evolutionary computation to all aspects of music (analysis, composition, arrangements, etc.), and featured several live demonstrations. The video below shows a jam session involving a computer and a human guitarist.

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 07 Jul 2011 @ 11:52 AM

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Categories: Conferences, Events

 23 Jun 2011 @ 11:36 AM 

Carlos Cotta delivered a keynote talk at the 8th International Conference on Large Scale Scientific Computations (LSSC 2001) held in Sozopol (Bulgaria), 6-10 June 2011. The title of the talk was “USer-Centric Optimization with Evolutionary and Memetic Systems”.  The abstract of the talk follows:

One of the lessons learned in the last years in the metaheuristics community, and most prominently in the area of evolutionary computation, is the need of exploiting problem knowledge in order to come up with effective optimization tools. This problem-knowledge can be provided in a variety of ways, but there are situations in which endowing the optimization algorithm with this knowledge is a very elusive task. This may be the case when this problem-awareness is hard to encapsulate within a specific algorithmic description, e.g., they belong more to the space of human-expert’s intuition than elsewhere. An extreme case of this situation can take place when the evaluation itself of solutions is not algorithmic, but needs the introduction of a human to critically assess the quality of solutions. Other forms of interaction are possible though.

The above use of a combined human-user/evolutionary-algorithm approach is commonly termed interactive evolutionary computation. The term user-centric evolutionary computation is however more appropriate since it hints possibilities for the system to be proactive rather than merely interactive, i.e., to anticipate some of the user behavior and/or exhibit some degree of creativity. Such features constitute ambitious goals that require a good grasp of the basic underlying issues surrounding interactive optimization. An overview of these is presented in this talk, along with some hints on what the future may bring to this area.

Posted By: Carlos Cotta
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2011 @ 11:36 AM

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Categories: Talks

 30 Mar 2011 @ 2:25 PM 

Three new papers have been accepted for publication in the conference IWINAC’2011 conference. Two of them (numbers 1 and 2) are centred on interactive optimization whereas second and third papers have been developed in the context of game programmming (and involved both interaction and user modelling).

(1) J. Espinar, C. Cotta and A. J. Fernández Leiva. On the Use of Human-Guided Evolutionary Algorithms for Tackling 2D Packing Problems

We consider a 2D packing problem in which a collection of rectangular objects have to be arranged within a larger rectangular area of fixed width, such that its height is minimized. This problem is tackled using evolutionary algorithms that combine permutational decoders and GRASP-based principles. It is shown that this approach can be improved by allowing the user interact with the algorithm, tuning the greediness of the genotype-to-phenotype decoding. Experiments are presented on three different problem instances with sizes ranging from 19 up to 49 objects.

(2)  José A. García Gutiérrez, Carlos Cotta and Antonio J. Fernández Leiva. Design of Emergent and Adaptive Virtual Players in a War RTS Game.

Basically, in (one-player) war Real Time Strategy (wRTS) games a human player controls, in real time, an army consisting of a number of soldiers and her aim is to destroy the opponent’s assets where the opponent is a virtual (i.e., non-human player controlled) player that usually consists of a  pre-programmed decision-making script. These scripts have usually associated some well-known  problems (e.g., predictability, non-rationality, repetitive behaviors, and sensation of artificial stupidity among others). This paper describes a method for the automatic generation of virtual players that adapt  to the player skills; this is done by building initially a model of the player behavior in real time during  the game, and further evolving the virtual player via this model in-between two games. The paper also shows preliminary results obtained on a one-player wRTS game constructed specifically for  experimentation.

(3) Antonio J. Fernández Leiva and Jorge L. O’Valle Barragán. Decision Tree-based Algorithms for Implementing Bot AI in UT2004.

This paper describes two different decision tree-based approaches to obtain strategies that control the behavior of bots in the context of the Unreal Tournament 2004. The first approach follows the traditional process existing in commercial videogames to program the game artificial intelligence (AI),  that is to say, it consists of coding the strategy manually according to the AI programmer’s experience with the aim of increasing player satisfaction. The second approach is based on evolutionary  programming techniques and has the objective of automatically generating the game AI. An experimental analysis is conducted in order to evaluate the quality of our proposals. This analysis is  executed on the basis of two fitness functions that were defined intuitively to provide entertainment to the player. Finally a comparison between the two approaches is done following the subjective evaluation principles imposed by the  ’2k bot prize’ competition.

The full reference of these papers is:

  1. J. Espinar, C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández, On the Use of Human-Guided Evolutionary Algorithms for Tackling 2D Packing Problems, Foundations on Natural and Artificial Computation, J.M. Ferrández and J.R. Álvarez Sánchez, F. de la Paz, F.J. Toledo (eds.), Lectures Notes in Computer Science 6686, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 354-361, 2011
  2. J.A. García , C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández, Design of Emergent and Adaptive Virtual Players in a War RTS Game, Foundations on Natural and Artificial Computation, J.M. Ferrández and J.R. Álvarez Sánchez, F. de la Paz, F.J. Toledo (eds.), Lectures Notes in Computer Science 6686, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 372-382, 2011
  3. A.J. Fernández, J.L. O’Valle, Decision Tree-Based Algorithms for Implementing Bot AI in UT2004, Foundations on Natural and Artificial Computation, J.M. Ferrández and J.R. Álvarez Sánchez, F. de la Paz, F.J. Toledo (eds.), Lectures Notes in Computer Science 6686, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 383-392, 2011
Posted By: Antonio J. Fernández
Last Edit: 23 Jun 2011 @ 11:49 AM

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 30 Mar 2011 @ 11:55 AM 

Two new papers about interactive optimization have been accepted for publication in the conference IWANN’2011:

(1) Carlos Cotta and Antonio J. Fernández-Leiva. Bio-inspired Combinatorial Optimization: Notes on Reactive and Proactive Interaction. To appear in  Springer LNCS series.

Evolutionary combinatorial optimization (ECO) is a branch of evolutionary computing (EC) focused on finding optimal values for combinatorial problems. Algorithms ranging in this category require
that the user defines, before the process of evolution, the fitness measure (i.e., the evaluation function) that will be used to guide the evolution of candidate solutions. However, there are many problems that possess aesthetical or psychological features and as a consequence fitness evaluation functions are difficult, or even impossible, to formulate mathematically. Interactive evolutionary computation (IEC) has recently been proposed as a part of EC to cope with this problem and its classical version basically consists of incorporating human user evaluation during the evolutionary procedure. This is however not the only way that the user can influence the evolution in IEC and currently one can find that IEC
has been been successfully deployed on a number of hard combinatorial optimization problems. This work examines the application of IEC to these problems. We describe the basic fundament of IEC, present some guidelines to the design of interactive evolutionary algorithms (IEAs) to handle combinatorial optimization problems, and discuss the two main models over which IEC is constructed, namely reactive and proactive search-based schemas. An overview of the existing literature on the topic is also provided. We conclude with some reflections on the lessons learned, and the future directions that research might take in this area.

(2) Ana Reyes Badillo,  Carlos Cotta and Antonio J. Fernández-Leiva. Towards User-Centric Memetic Algorithms: Experiences with the TSP. To appear in Springer LNCS series.

User-centric evolutionary computation is an optimization paradigm that tries to integrate the human user and the evolutionary algorithm in a smooth way, favoring bi-directional communication and  establishing synergies among these two actors. We explore the possibilities for such an approach in the context of memetic algorithms, with application to the travelling salesman problem. Some ways to canalize this cooperation via the introduction of dynamic constraints and selective local search
are hinted, and implementation and interfacing issues are discussed. The reported experiments on TSPLIB instances provide encouraging results for these techniques.

The full reference of these papers is:

  1. C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández, Bio-inspired Combinatorial Optimization: Notes on Reactive and Proactive Interaction, Advances in Computational Intelligence, J. Cabestany, I. Rojas, G. Joya Caparrós (eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6692, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 348-355, 2011
  2. A.R. Badillo, C. Cotta, A.J. Fernández, Towards User-Centric Memetic Algorithms: Experiences with the TSP, Advances in Computational Intelligence, J. Cabestany, I. Rojas, G. Joya Caparrós (eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6692, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 284-291, 2011
Posted By: Antonio J. Fernández
Last Edit: 02 Jul 2012 @ 11:53 AM

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