Thomas Stützle: “Automated Design of Algorithms”

CAIML Colloquium with Thomas Stützle.


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On October 19, 2023, CAIML Colloquium with Thomas Stützle took place.



The design of NP-hard algorithms can be time-consuming and difficult for a number of reasons including the complexity of the problems being tackled, the large number of degrees of freedom when designing an algorithm and setting its numerical parameters, and the difficulties of algorithm analysis due to heuristic biases and stochasticity. Here, the advancement of automated algorithm configuration methods offers to make this process automatic, avoid some methodological issues, and at the same time improve the performance of algorithms.

In this talk, Thomas Stützle highlighted the advantages of addressing algorithm design and configuration by algorithmic techniques, described the main existing automatic algorithm design techniques, and discussed some of the main successful applications of automatic design they have in their own work. In particular, he showed how flexible algorithm frameworks can support the automatic design of high-performing hybrid stochastic local search algorithms. In fact, even for problems that have received very high attention in the literature new state-of-the-art algorithms can be obtained automatically, that is, without manual algorithm tuning. Thomas Stützle concluded arguing that automatic algorithm design will also have the power to transform the way algorithms for difficult problems are designed in the future.

About the Speaker

Thomas Stützle is a research director of the Belgian F.R.S.-FNRS (National Science Foundation) working at the IRIDIA laboratory of Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. He received the Diplom (German equivalent of MSc. degree) in business engineering from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany in 1994, and his PhD and habilitation in computer science both from the Computer Science Department of Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, in 1998 and 2004, respectively.

He has co-authored three books among which are “Stochastic Local Search: Foundations and Applications” (Morgan Kaufmann) and “Ant Colony Optimization” (MIT Press), both being the main references in their respective areas. His other publications include more than 250 articles in journals, international conferences or edited books many of which are highly cited. In fact, his research contributions received so far more than 58,000 citations in Google Scholar and his h-index is 81. His main research interests are in stochastic local search algorithms, multi-objective optimization, and automatic design of algorithms.