August 23rd, 2009
Sean Luke has made available an open set of lecture notes on metaheuristics algorithms, Essentials of Metaheuristics. Sean defines a metaheuristic as
“A common but unfortunate name for any stochastic optimization algorithm intended to be the last resort before giving up and using random or brute-force search. Such algorithms are used for problems where you don’t know how to find a good solution, but if shown a candidate solution, you can give it a grade. The algorithmic family includes genetic algorithms, hill-climbing, simulated annealing, ant colony optimization, particle swarm optimization, and so on.”
Such AI algorithms are also often called weak methods, but I like the term metaheuristic better.
The lecture notes look great and the chapters can be used independently for self study or to augment topics in a graduate or undergraduate course. Thanks Sean!
(via Don Miner.)
August 20th, 2009
I’m very gratified to see UMBC recognized in the U.S. News and World Report annual report on America’s Best Colleges. UMBC was ranked first on the list of “up-and-coming” national universities and fourth on the list of national universities committed to undergraduate education. UMBC was actually tied for fourth with Stanford on the list of schools most committed to undergraduate teaching, but I think an appropriate tie breaker would be chess and UMBC has always dominated Stanford in the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.
Most of the details are only available if you purchase the report, but there are stories in today’s Baltimore Sun and Washington Post.
August 15th, 2009
How I Explained REST to My Wife popped up on Hacker News today. While the way Ryan Tomayko frames his description of http protocols stikes many (invcluding me) as sexist, it’s well written and illuminating.
What hit me like a two-by-four up side the head was his characterization of URIs as being like “GPS coordinates for knowledge and information”. Great analogy!
He’s not really talking about the Semantic Web, but he ought to be. I think we should steal borrow his analogy and use it in explaining the central role URIs play for us.
August 12th, 2009
The Ninth International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2010) will be held 7-11 November 2010 in Shanghai China. The conference events will take place at the Shanghai International Convention Center (map).
The ISWC 2010 organizers include general chair Ian Horrocks, program committee chairs Peter F. Patel-Schneider and Yue Pan, local chair Yong Yu and local organization committee members Dingyi Han, Gui-Rong Xue, Haofen Wang and Lei Zhang.