Published: 04 September 2014

Nature-inspired computing paper wins IEEE award

An academic who has spearheaded Surrey’s ground-breaking research in the field of computational intelligence has won an Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) Outstanding Paper Award, one of the most prestigious awards in its field, has been awarded to Professor Yaochu Jin, head of Surrey’s Nature Inspired Computing and Engineering (NICE) group.

Professor Jin’s research proposes an ‘intelligent algorithm’ inspired by natural evolutionary processes, which uses global and local search techniques to solve optimisation problems. Based on the ratio between the expected performance improvement in optimisation and the expected computational cost, the framework developed by Professor Jin has been shown to outperform other methods in solving real world optimisation problems.

"This recognition will further strengthen Surrey’s world-leading position in the area of evolutionary optimisation.”

- Professor Yaochu Jin

Professor Jin explains, “While these types of problems have often been tackled using mathematical programming methods in the past, this has a drawback: it assumes that the problem can be clearly described using mathematical equations, which is not always realistic.”

“By combining global search (inspired by natural evolution) with local search (based on mathematical programming), we’ve been able to come up with an efficient and effective way of finding global optimal solutions.”

The framework proposed by Professor Jin has already been successfully put to the test to solve a real world problem – the modelling of water cluster design, helping engineers to understand the enigmatic properties of water.

He says, “It’s a great honour for me to win the IEEE Outstanding Paper Award, which recognises our long-term research efforts dedicated to solving real-world optimisation problems using computational intelligence techniques. This recognition will further strengthen Surrey’s world-leading position in the area of evolutionary optimisation.”

Originally trained as an Electronic Engineer, Professor Jin specialises in using data-driven computational intelligence techniques to solve complex engineering optimisation problems, working with industry in the design optimisation of aircraft fuselage, wing systems and intelligent heating systems. He has also applied nature-inspired algorithms to the creation of self-organised swarm robots and to tacking challenging problems in bioinformatics and computational biology, including constructing computational models for selecting vaccines and understanding the production of antibiotics in bacteria.

He is currently Vice President for Technical Activities of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society and an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.

Professor Jin will receive his award (including a prize of $1,000) at the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, due to be held in Japan in May 2015.


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