HUMIES Gold Award for Human Competitive Artificial Intelligence


NCRA researchers David Lynch,  David Fagan and Michael O’Neill, along with their collaborators from Nokia Bell Labs (Holger Claussen and Stepan Kucera), and NCRA alumnus Michael Fenton, have won the 2019 HUMIES Gold Award for a result demonstrating Human Competitive Artificial Intelligence using Evolutionary Computation. The underlying research was published recently in the leading journal in wireless communications networks and demonstrates a doubling to tripling of data rates on cellular networks. The HUMIES Gold Award was presented at the ACM GECCO Conference in Prague on 17 July 2019.

This is the second occasion that NCRA research has been recognised in the HUMIES.  In 2017  their research on Innovative Truss Design using Grammatical Evolution won the HUMIES Bronze Award.

Business Analytics Capability at EURO 2019

Michael O’Neill will give two presentations on Business Analytics Capability at the EURO 2019 conference on operations research, which will see 2,500 delegates visit UCD from 23-26 June. The Local Chair for EURO 2019 is our very own NCRA researcher Seán McGarraghy who is also Director of the UCD Centre for Business Analytics. Michael’s presentation is titled Business Analytics Capability, Organisational Value and Competitive Advantage and asks if there is a positive relationship between Business Analytics capability levels and the generation of value and competitive advantage for organisations, and further do enhanced capability levels lead to enhanced impact? Michael will feature in the “Practice of OR – Making an Impact” stream with a “lightening talk” on Monday, followed by a full presentation in the “Business Analytics” stream on Tuesday.


Elite Athletes Seasonal Training Plans Performance Potential Improved Five-Fold using Artificial Intelligence


A study to be presented at the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand shows how the performance potential of elite athletes can be improved five-fold using an approach to Artificial Intelligence inspired by biological evolution. The research is a collaboration between STATSports and the UCD Natural Computing Research & Applications Group as part of the Science Foundation Ireland funded Lero Software Research Centre undertaken by Mark Connor, Dr David Fagan and Professor Michael O’Neill.


EvoStar Outstanding Students 2019

UCD Natural Computing Research & Applications Group researcher Nam Le has been listed as an EvoStar Outstanding Student of 2019 and is shortlisted for the EvoStar 2019 Best Student Paper Award for his research on “The Evolution of Self-taught Neural Networks in a Multi-agent Environment“. Nam is investigating the interplay between Learning and Evolution as means of adaptation in complex environments.

The Elephant in the Room

Professor Michael O’Neill and Dr David Fagan have published  “The Elephant in the Room – Towards the Application of Genetic Programming to Automatic Programming” where they discuss how the field of Genetic Programming , representing one of the largest literatures in Artificial Intelligence, should go back to its roots and become re-focused towards the problem of automatic software creation. The research was presented at the GPTP Workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan in May 2018 and has recently been published in a book by Springer (Genetic Programming Theory and Pratice XVI) in 2019.

Mobile device data rates tripled using Artificial Intelligence

Mobile device data rates tripledResearchers from the UCD Natural Computing Research & Applications Group in collaboration with Bell Labs published in the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking journal (Vol.27 Issue 1) a paper titled “Automated Self-Optimization in Heterogeneous Wireless Communications Networks” where they demonstrate that their approach to Artificial Intelligence based on Evolutionary Computation more than triples  peak data rates, and show how their approach can be used by network operators to flexibly tune the tradeoff between peak rates and fairness across all mobile network users. The research is supported by Science Foundation Ireland through an Investigator Award to Prof Michael O’Neill who is a Full Professor of Business Analytics at the UCD School of Business.

Two new PhD’s

Congratulations to David Lynch and Stefan Forstenlechner who both successfully defended their PhD theses this month on “Automated Self-Optimisation in Heterogeneous Wireless Communications Networks using Techniques from Evolutionary Computation” (Lynch) and “Program Synthesis with Grammars and Semantics in Genetic Programming” (Forstenlechner).