Evolutionary Computation Research Group

Meetings

  • The weekly meeting for staff and research project students is on Wednesday 11:00-1:00, CO255.
  • The staff members and Thesis students meet regularly on Friday 3-5pm in CO255 every week.

Staff

  • Dr Mengjie Zhang (Associate Professor/Reader, Group Leader) - Genetic Programming, Particle Swarm Optimisation, Evolutionary Computer Vision, Multi-Objective Optimisation, Data Mining and Machine Learning. (Mengjie's CV)
  • Dr Will Browne (Senior Lecturer) - Learning Classifier Systems, Machine Learning, Applied Cognitive Systems
  • Dr Mark Johnston (Lecturer) - Genetic Programming, Operations Research, Evolutionary Multi-Objective Optimisation
  • Dr Kouroush Neshatian (Research Fellow/BuildIT Postdoctoral Fellowship)- Genetic Programming, Classification, Feature Ranking and Selection, Dimension Reduction
  • Dr Ignas Kukenys (Researcher, Sep 2010 -- present) -- Learning Classifier Systems
  • Dr Jingxuan Wei (Visiting Researcher, Nov 2010 -- Oct 2011) -- Particle Swarm Optimisation, Evolutionary Multiobjective Optimisation
  • Dr Ammar Mohemmed (Research Fellow, Oct 2007 -- Feb 2010) - Particle Swarm Optimisation

Current Thesis and Research Project Students

Below is a list of out current (and incoming) research thesis and project students. You can also check our completed research students and their projects.

  • Urvesh Bhowan, Genetic Programming for Classification with Unbalanced Data, PhD Thesis. 2009. BuildIT PhD Scholarship. (with Prof Mengjie Zhang and Dr MarkJohnston)
  • Mahdi Setayesh, Particle Swarm Optimisation for Image Analysis, PhD Thesis. 2009. Victoria PhD Scholarship. (with Prof Mengjie Zhang and Dr Mark Johnston)
  • Rohitash Chandra, Cooperative Co-evolution for training recurrent neural networks, PhD Thesis. 2009. Victoria PhD Scholarship. (with A/Prof Marcus Frean and Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Will Smart, Schemata Analysis in Genetic programming, PhD Thesis. 2005. VC's Strategic PhD Scholarship. (with Prof Mengjie Zhang and Dr Peter Andreae)
  • David Kinzett, Numerical Simplification of Evolved Programs in Genetic Programming. MSc Thesis. 2007 (Part-time). (With Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Wenlong (Bruce) Fu, Particle Swarm Optimisation for Image Recognition. PhD Thesis. 2010. VC's Strategic PhD Scholarship. (with Dr Mark Johnston and Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Syahaneim Marzukhi, Learning Classifier Systems. PhD Thesis. 2010. (with A/Prof Will Browne and Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Bing Xue. Particle Swarm Optimisation. PhD Thesis. 2010. Victoria Doctoral Scholarship. (with Mengjie Zhang and Will Browne)
  • Juan Rada-Vilela. Swarm Intelligence. PhD Thesis. 2010. Victoria PhD Scholarship. (with Mengjie Zhang and Winston Seah)
  • Su Nguyen. Genetic Programming with Hyperheuristics. PhD Thesis. Victoria Doctoral Scholarship. ((with Mengjie Zhang and Mark Johnston)
  • Muhammad Iqbal. Learning Classifier Systems. PhD Thesis. 2010. Victoria PhD Scholarship. (with A/Prof Will Browne and Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Carlton Downey. Linear Genetic Programming for Multi-class Classification. MSc Thesis. 2010. Victoria Masters Scholarship. (with Prof Mengjie Zhang)
  • Daniel Atkins. Genetic Programming for Image Feature Construction. Summer Research Scholarship. Nov 2010 -- Feb 2011. (with Kourosh Neshatian Mengjie Zhang)
  • Anna Friedlander. Genetic Programming for Feature Selection in Classification. Summer Research Scholarship. Nov 2010 -- Feb 2011. (with Mengjie Zhang and Kourosh Neshatian)
  • Rachel Hunt. Genetic Programming with Class Imbalance Problems. Summer Research Assistant. Nov 2010 -- Feb 2011. (with Mark Johnston and Mengjie Zhang)

Highlighted Research Areas

Here is some information on some of the research projects undertaken within the group, also see individual staff research interests for other areas of research:

  • Genetic Programming (GP) is the automatic generation of computer programs by simulated evolution. We use a network of computers (Grid Computing) to keep a large population of computer programs. The programs change their behaviour over time and give birth to new programs. We use the best of these programs to perform a designated task. The programs are usually used to make a larger intelligent system (e.g. a predictor agent).

  • GP for Feature Manipulation is mainly used to improve the performance of classification system. The programs evolved by GP act like functions, each of which establishing a mapping between features of a classification task. These mappings can act as constructed features to boost the classification performance. They can also reveal some otherwise hidden information about the relationship between features. The information can later be used for feature ranking and selection. (People involved: Mengjie Zhang, Kourosh Neshatian)

Research Funding

  • Mengjie Zhang. Toward Optimal Offspring Selection in Genetic Programming. BuildIT Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, New Zealand. 2009-2011. Grant: $123,053.
  • Mengjie Zhang. Genetic Programming for Classification Tasks. Marsden Fund of New Zealand, 2009-2012. Grant: $465,000.
  • Mengjie Zhang. Novel Program Structures and Search Algorithms in Genetic Programming, Marsden Fund of New Zealand, 2006-2008. Grant: $140,000.
  • Guifa Teng, Mengjie Zhang, etc. Identification of Authors in Chinese Email, Natural Science Fundation of Hebei Province, China, 2006-2008. Grant: $50,000.
  • David Crabbe, Mengjie Zhang, Paul Warren, Peter Andreae, Irina Elgort, Huayang Xie. Machine Learning for Speech Recognition, New Economy Research Fund, 2001-2004. Grant: $330,000.

  • Mengjie Zhang, Mark Johnston. Novel PSO Topologies and Search Algorithms for Pattern Classification. University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2009-2010. Grant: $25,000.
  • Mark Johnston, Mengjie Zhang. Evolutionary Multiple-criterion Optimization for Visual Object Detection. University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2009-2010. Grant: $20,000.
  • Mengjie Zhang, Mark Johnston. Particle Swarm Optimisation for Image Recognition. University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2008-2009. Grant: $38,239.
  • Mark Johnston, Mengjie Zhang. Simplification and Class Imbalance in Genetic Programming. University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2008-2009. Grant: $22,580.
  • Mengjie Zhang. Genetic Programming for Image Recognition, University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2007. Grant: $48,000.
  • Mengjie Zhang. Program Representations in Genetic Programming, University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2005-2006. Grant: $45,500.
  • Mengjie Zhang, Peter Andreae. Genetic Programming for Multiclass Classification, University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2004-2005. Grant: $25,000.
  • Mengjie Zhang, Peter Andreae. Novel Genetic Programming Techniques for Image Recognition Tasks, University Research Fund, Victoria University of Wellington, 2004. Grant: $12,200.

Selected Publications

Upcoming Conferences

PhD Sholarships

Good students (GPA of A- or above) can apply for the following scholarships. Contact any of the staff members in our research group.

  • Victoria PhD scholarship (Closing dates: 1 March, 1 July, 1 November 2010, for both domestic and international students)

Postdoctoral Opportunities

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) have funding for Post-Doctoral students. The applicant is a doctorate who wishes to undertake post-doctoral research, rather than the University/School/research group. This research group is happy to advise a candidate in writing the proposal in the field of evolutionary computation, especially learning classifier systems, genetic programming and related techniques.The deadline for completed applications at VUW is 29th March 2010. There is a second round later in the year usually in September (dates TBA).

The scheme is highly contested and success requires a comprehensive application and considerable time commitment. Applicants should note the eligibility requirements in the Request for Proposals (RFP).

Contact any of the staff members in our research group if you're interested in applying.

  • FRST Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 29 March – completed applications on the portal
    http://www.frst.govt.nz/funding/students/postdoc
    $61k salary plus $30.5k research costs for up to three years to fund a postdoc. To be eligible, you need to be a citizen or permanent resident of NZ.