I landed in Windhoek yesterday after a very successful 2017 International Workshop on Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, which took place from November 2 to November 5, 2017 at China Hall of Science and Technology in Beijing, China.

I presented a paper titled “Anomaly Detection in Smart Water Metering Networks” on behalf of Maria Kanyama, our MSc student. I had a great time interacting with old friends from my days in Hirota Lab in Tokyo, Japan, such as Prof Kazushi Okamoto (University of Electro-Communications) and Prof Yoichi Yamazaki (Kanagawa Institute of Technology),  Dr Jing Jianping (Managing Director of KTI, Souzhou), Dr Zhentao Liu and Dr Luefeng Chen (both from China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China).

I also had a chance to interact with some senior friends from Japan such as Prof Takama (Tokyo Metropolitan University), Prof Kawamoto (Chiba University) and Prof Isao Ono (Tokyo Tech); Prof Ono was one of the members on my PhD examination committee.

I also met some people for the very first time. The list is long, but worthy mentioning are the following: Prof Isao Hayashi (Kansai University); Prof Hisao Ishibuchi (Osaka Prefecture University but currently in China), Prof Ikoma (Nippon Institute of Technology), Prof Yaping Dai (Beijing Institute of Technology), Prof Kobayashi (Ochanomizu University, Japan) and Dr Kim (Postdoc at Beijing Institute of Technology).

Last but not least, I also met the fathers in our areas of research and these are Prof Kaoru Hirota, my PhD academic advisor, Prof Witold Pedrycz (University of Alberta) and Prof Toshio Fukuda (formerly of Nagoya University). I always learn a lot from these highly esteemed researchers and academics even through mere conversations on a lunch table.

The key presentations that really excited me are as follows:

  1. SOINN – An Artificial Brain for Intelligent Agents: As one of the keynote speakers, Prof Osamu Hasegawa from Tokyo Institute of Technology made a presentation on “SOINN” (Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network), an unsupervised online-learning method that is capable of incremental learning. I have known this concept for the past 6 years or so. But it is amazing to learn that Prof Hasegawa launched SOINN as a company three years ago. I have a few areas in which SOINN can be applied in an African context. This will be one of the works that I will be doing in the near future.
  2. Evolutionary Computation for Large-Scale Black-Box Optimization: Also as a keynote speaker, Prof Isao Ono introduced two algorithms (natural evolution strategy and parallel genetic algorithm) for large-scale black-box optimization. This presentation enabled me to have a better understanding of Prof Ono’s work and there are prospects for future collaboration.
  3. Hot Research Topics in Evolutionary Many-Objective Optimization: This was my highly anticipated topic as it is in line with the work that I have been doing for the past few years. Furthemore, Prof Ishibuchi, the presenter, is one of the world-class researchers that are always breaking new grounds in Evolutionary Many-Objective Optimization. His ability to simplify complex issues so that the general audience follows easily was very evident throughout his presentation. I saw several research directions that can be pursued based on the hot topics that he was raising.

Kudos to the organising committee for a job well done. In the upcoming posts, I will write more about the visits that we had to the Great Wall of China and Beijing Summer place, and my traveling experiences.