Section: New Results
Algorithm selection and configuration Two PhD theses are related to the former Crossing the Chasm SIG: Nacim Belkhir (CIFRE PhD with Thalès) is working on Per Instance Algorithm Configuration (PIAC) in the context of continuous optimization. He has worked on the use of surrogate models for feature computation in case of expensive objective functions  and has validated his work with Differential Evolution applied to BBOB testnehc . Defence planned for March 2017.
François Gonard's PhD is dedicated to optimization algorithm selection. The original application domain was that of expensive car industry simulations (within the IRT-ROM project). The lack of real test cases made him investigate some combinatorial optimization setting, for which there exist public datasets. François obtained a "Honorable mention from the jury" for his submission to the ICON Challenge (http://iconchallenge.insight-centre.org/), for its original approach coupling a pre-scheduler and an algorithm selector . Defence is planned for November 2017.
The work done during Mustafa Misir's post-doc stint (ERCIM 2013-2014), regarding the formalization and tackling of the algorithm selection problem in terms of a collaborative filtering problem, was finally published .
A statistical physics perspective Our activity on probabilistic model design is progressively moving from static explicit interactions to dynamical ones and to latent variable models, taking inspiration from latent feature representations provided by deep learning techniques. Concerning explicit pairwise interactions models like in  initially motivated by traffic applications, a systematic treatment of loop corrections based on a minimal cycle basis  has led us to propose: (i) a fast and large scale generalized belief propagation method (GCBP) with more robust convergence properties than bare belief propagation (ii) an inverse approximate MRF with linear scaling of the computational time, compliant with GCBP (iii) a new sampling method based on extracting random sub-graph of tree-width 2 on which GCBP can provide exact marginals. More generally considering effect of problematic i.e. frustrated cycles open the possibility for new criteria in model design. In particular we have started to bridge this work with the analysis of multi-layer restricted Boltzmann machines (RBM). Remarkably these possess a planar dual representation and we are expecting the density of frustrated cycles nodes to play a key role when characterizing an RBM learned from structured data by contrast with purely random instances. Additionally we have identify some properties of the data themeselves that have to be taken into consideration when learning static  or dynamical  Ising models.
Artificial Immune Systems Within the E-Lucid project with Thalès TERESIS, around anomaly detection in network trafic, a first approach has been developed using Artificial Immune System (AIS) and the concept of Voronoi representation. A first proof of concept was a poster at the GECCO conference , before a complete paper was published at the PPSN conference . Note that this work on anomaly detection is on-going using Deep Learning. AIS are also the basis of Chaouki Boufenar's PhD work (visiting TAO from U. Oran, Algérie), with a first work on arabic characters recognition .