Saturday, November 10, 2007

NICSO 2007: Nature inspired cooperative strategies for optimization

The second international workshop on nature inspired cooperative strategies for optimization (NICSO 2007) was held in the beautiful baroque town of Acireale in Sicily. The topics of the workstop ranged from theoretical considerations of complex network models to hardware implementations of swarm computing.

In his plenary speak, Marco Dorigo (Université Libre de Bruxelles) presented his ongoing work on swarm robotics. In a series of videos Dorigo showed, for example, how a group of simple robots emreged a collaborative self-assembly strategy so that a group of robots was able to move past physical obstacles that any single robot could not pass. In another robotics related plenary speak, Paolo Arena (University of Catania) presented their work on emergent adaptive locomotion controllers which enabled a legged robot to lear to walk and plan actions autonomously.

Xiaohui Cui's (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) presentation dealt with clustering of text documents after transferring them into a vector format using word frequence information. An inspiring solution to this computationally intensive task was to use modern graphics processing units (GPUs) which have up to 128 cores on one low cost card. Other interesting work related to hardware implementations of biologically inspired parallel computing included Francesca Palumbos's and Giovanni Busonera's papers on an architecture for self-organization on the hardware level.

Artificial immune systems, a topic of ongoing research at TKK, was referenced in two presentations. The comparison of the neural network paradigm and the immune network paradigm for prototype based clustering was the topic of our own paper while Slavisa Sarafijanovic presented a tool for using negative selection in a collaborative spam filtering environment.

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