Renowned speakers and numerous participants
The 16th edition of the international conference "Foundations of Genetic Algorithms" (FOGA) took place from September 6 to 8, 2021. The venue, albeit virtual for well-known reasons, was the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV - Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences). Steffen Finck and Michael Hellwig from the research centre Business Informatics as well as Pietro Oliveto from the University of Sheffield (UK) conducted the conference.
FOGA is an international conference on basic research in optimization and machine learning. Since 1990, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) has awarded the organization of FOGA to changing institutes. Already for the second time, the FHV was able to convince in the application procedure and organized the conference after 2011 now also in 2021 as a three-day online event in Vorarlberg.
Development of application-oriented solutions
The conference aims to increase the understanding of how Evolutionary Algorithms and related Randomized Search methods work. Theoretical knowledge of how these algorithms work can thus be incorporated into the development of new application-oriented solutions.
For this year's conference, the top ten articles were selected for presentation from 21 submitted papers in a double-blind review process. The acceptance rate of 48 percent was very competitive compared to previous years, and 84 registered attendees:made FOGA 2021 the best attended in terms of numbers since the conference series was established. On average, about 35 audience members attended the technical presentations.
Renowned keynote speakers
Two keynotes by internationally highly respected experts from related research fields rounded out the conference program. The talk, "Sex, recombination and the fundamental nature of mutation," by Dr. Adi Livnat of the University of Haifa (Israel), addressed a new way of thinking about the role of sexual recombination in biological evolution and related implications for the Deep Learning revolution. Professor Tim Roughgarden of Columbia University (USA) discussed theoretical insights from his work on selecting the best algorithm for a given application domain in the talk "Data-Driven Algorithm Design." The two keynotes each drew an audience of about 50.
Conference attendees awarded the FOGA Best Paper Award, based on a vote, to Luke Branson and Andrew Sutton of the University of Minnesota (USA) for their paper "Focused Jump-and-Repair Constraint Handling for Fixed-Parameter Tractable Graph Problem." This and all other technical papers are published in the conference proceedings and can be viewed in the ACM Digital Library.