Working Group 2: Practice-Driven Theory

Leader Christine Zarges Aberystwyth University, UK
Vice Leader    Bosko Blagojevic    University of Novi Sad, Serbia
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden (2017-2019)


Working Group 2 is tasked with the development of novel practice-driven theoretical frameworks and paradigms. The starting point for WG2 are needs and unanswered questions as they arise when one applies nature-inspired search and optimisation heuristics to specific problems and the task is to use those to create theoretical perspectives, frameworks and novel results that directly address those needs and answer those questions. WG2 is also at the heart of the COST Action, implementing one aspect of the main objective of bridging the gap between theory and practice; it concentrates on the direction pushing from practice to theory. Its activities include maintaining close contact with WG1 and ensure that the efforts of the COST Action are balanced and symmetric. It provides and maintains those parts of the COST Action's Internet website that directly relate to this task, namely providing a repository of novel theoretical approaches and also open problems and questions, helping directing future research in the direction of the COST Action's main goals. It will significantly contribute to the summer school and the joint workshop with industry partners. Another important task for WG2, very similar to WG1, is support for young researchers, PhD students and Postdocs, and the active work towards broadening participation and paying specific attention to equal representation of all genders and ethnic groups. In the same way as WG1 it will cooperate with existing initiatives in the field. Due to its stronger and more direct connections to industry and other places of application it is a main networking node for Early Career Investigators seeking to establish links with industry partners and for companies interested in engaging in practical research driven by needs in specific applications. 


Jürgen Branke, University of Warwick, UK
Carola Doerr
, CNRS and Pierre et Marie Curie University (Paris 6), France
Peter Drotar, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia
Christian Esposito, University of Salerno, Italy
Juraj Gazda, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia
Michael Hellwig, Vorarlberg University Of Applied Sciences, Austria
Thomas Jansen, Aberystywth University, UK
Eric Medvet, University of Trieste, Italy
Pietro Oliveto, University of Sheffield, UK
Gregor Papa, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Luís Paquete, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Mike Preuss, Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster, Germany
Minvydas Ragulskis, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Günther Raidl, TU Wien, Austria
Roman Šenkeřík, Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic
Giovanni Squillero, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Dirk Sudholt, University of Sheffield, UK
Alberto Tonda, INRA, Université Paris-Saclay, France
Vida Vukašinović, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Shuai Wang, Simula Research Laboratory, Norway
Carsten Witt, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Aleš Zamuda, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Hubert Zarzycki, Wroclaw School of Information Technology, Poland


COST Networking Tools

Workshops (more information)
  • 1st COST Action workshop, Cluj Napoca, Romania (October 17, 2016)
  • 1st Joint Industry workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark (January 16, 2017)
STSMs (more information)
  • Vida Vukašinović, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
    Host: Carlos Fonseca (University of Coimbra, Portugal); Topic: Design of neutral representations for evolutionary search (01/11/2016 to 30/11/2016)
  • Christian Esposito, University of Salerno, Italy
    Host: Florin Pop (University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania); Topic: Distributed Nature-Inspired Optimization for Resource Scheduling and Migration in the Internet of Things (23/01/2017 to 08/02/2017)
  • Aleš Zamuda, University of Maribor, Slovenia
    Host: Christine Zarges (Aberystwyth University, UK); Topic: Suitability of optimization algorithms for combinatorial and discretized challenges appearing in text summarization, health records analysis, and underwater glider path planning (14/02/2017 to 18/03/2017)

Outputs and Additional Activities

Actitivies at conferences and workshops


IEEE CIS Task Force on Theoretical Foundations of Bio-inspired Computation (chaired by Pietro Oliveto)

Further Information

Working Group 2 uses a Wiki to develop and present contents.