Prof Gabriela Ochoa
University of Stirling, Scotland

Recent Advances in Local Optima and Search Trajectory Networks

This talk will present our recent findings and visual (static, animated, 2D and 3D) maps characterising computational search spaces. Our work provides new insights into the structure of fitness landscapes and the trajectories of optimisation algorithms.

We will overview recent results on local optima networks (LONs), a network-based model of fitness landscapes where nodes are local optima and edges are possible search transitions among these optima. LONs help us to study the global structure of fitness landscapes. We will also introduce search trajectory networks (STNs) as a tool to analyse and visualise the behaviour of heuristic search algorithms. STNs model the search trajectories of algorithms. Unlike LONs, the nodes of the network are not restricted to local optima but instead represent a given state of the search process. Edges represent search progression between consecutive states. This extends the power and applicability of network-based models to understand heuristic search algorithms.


Gabriela Ochoa is a Professor in Computing Science at the University of Stirling, Scotland, where she leads the Data Science and Intelligent Systems (DAIS) research group. She holds a PhD from University of Sussex, UK, and has held faculty and research positions at the University Simon Bolivar, Venezuela and the University of Nottingham, UK.

Her research interests lie in the foundations and application of evolutionary algorithms and metaheuristics, with emphasis on adaptive search, fitness landscape analysis and visualisation. She has published over 120 scholarly papers (H-index 32), serves various program and organising committees, and was the Editor-in Chief for GECCO, 2017. She was associate editor of IEEE Trans. Evolutionary Computation and Evolutionary Computation, and is currently for ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization. She is a member of the executive boards of the ACM interest group on evolutionary computation (SIGEVO), and the leading European event on bio-inspired computing (EvoSTAR).

Prof Enrique Alba
University of Málaga, Spain

Bioinspired Algorithms for Smart Cities

The concept of Smart Cities can be understood as a holistic approach to improve the level of development and management of the city in a broad range of services by using information and communication technologies. It is common to recognise six axes of work in them: i) Smart Economy, ii) Smart People, iii) Smart Governance, iv) Smart Mobility, v) Smart Environment, and vi) Smart Living.

In this talk, we first focus on a capital issue: smart mobility. European citizens and economic actors need a transport system that provides them with seamless, high-quality door-to-door mobility. At the same time, the adverse effects of transport on the climate, the environment and human health need to be reduced. We will show many new systems based in the use of bioinspired techniques to ease the road traffic flow in the city, as well as allowing a customised smooth experience for travellers (private and public transport).

This talk will then discuss on potential applications of intelligent systems for energy (like adaptive lighting in streets), environmental applications (like mobile sensors for air pollution), smart building (intelligent design), and several other applications linked to smart living, tourism, and smart municipal governance.


Prof Enrique Alba had a first Degree in Engineering and PhD in Computer Science in 1992 and 1999, respectively, by the University of Málaga (Spain). He works as a Full Professor in this university with varied teaching duties: data communications, distributed programming, software quality, and also evolutionary algorithms, bases for R+D+i and smart cities, both at graduate and master/doctoral programs.

Prof Alba leads an international team of researchers in the field of complex optimisation/learning with applications in smart cities, bioinformatics, software engineering, telecoms, and others. In addition to the organisation of international events (ACM GECCO, IEEE IPDPS-NIDISC, IEEE MSWiM, IEEE DS-RT, smart-CT, etc.).

Prof Alba has offered dozens postgraduate courses, more than 70 seminars in international institutions, and has directed many research projects (7 with national funds, 5 in Europe, and numerous bilateral actions). He has directed 12 projects for innovation in companies (OPTIMI, Tartessos, ACERINOX, ARELANCE, TUO, INDRA, AOP, VATIA, EMERGIA, SECMOTIC, ArcelorMittal, ACTECO, CETEM, EUROSOTERRADOS) and has worked as invited professor at INRIA, Luxembourg, Ostrava, Japan, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, and Mexico.

He is editor in several international journals and book series of Springer-Verlag and Wiley, as well as he often reviews articles for more than 30 impact journals. He is included in the list of most prolific DBLP authors, and has published 111 articles in journals indexed by ISI, 11 books, and hundreds of communications to scientific conferences. He is included in the top ten most relevant researchers in Informatics in Spain (sixth position in ISI), and is the most influential researcher of UMA in engineering (webometrics), with 13 awards to his professional activities. Prof Alba’s H index is 57, with more than 16,000 citations to his work.