Workshop on “Evolutionary Synthesis of Dynamical Systems” at GECCO 2014

Introduction to the workshop:

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) has achieved great success both in academia and industry. However, automated synthesis of more general dynamical systems, such as mechanical systems or mechatronic systems, poses many more challenges while gaining increasing importance. In particular, when more and more conventional mechanical products are becoming mechatronic products with integration of electronic sensors, actuators and embedded controllers, automated design and optimization of mechatronic systems (including robotic systems) has gradually become a mainstream of research activities. Because it is often the case that both topology exploration and parameters optimization are to be automated in the synthesis of dynamical systems, evolutionary computation approaches have appeared to be one of the most effective ways in automated synthesis of dynamical systems.

Even though a plethora of successful applications have been reported in the field of automated synthesis of dynamical systems, there remain many open issues and opportunities that are continually emerging as intriguing challenges for the field. The aim of this workshop is to serve as a forum for scientists in this field to exchange the latest advantages in theories, technologies, and practice.

We invite researchers to submit their original and unpublished work related to, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Theory of Automated Synthesis using Evolutionary Approaches
  • Techniques and Algorithms Used for Evolutionary Synthesis
  • Simultaneous Synthesis of both Topologies and Parameters using Evolutionary Approaches
  • Define Similarity Metrics Between Individuals of Dynamical Systems (when both topology and parameter are considered)
  • Multi-Objective and Many-Objective Optimization Applied in Evolutionary Synthesis of Dynamical Systems
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning in Evolutionary Synthesis of Dynamical Systems
  • Memetic Computing in Evolutionary Synthesis of Dynamical Systems
  • Evolutionary Synthesis of Robotic Systems
  • Morphogenetic roboticsevolutionary developmental robotics
  • Evolutionary developmental neurocomputing
  • Surrogate Models Used for Evolutionary Synthesis of Dynamical Systems



Zhun Fan

Department of Electronic Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou, China


Zhun Fan received his Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering) in 2004 from the Michigan State University. He received the B.S. degree in 1995 and M.S degree in 2000, both from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. From 2004 to 2011, he was employed as an Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the Technical University of Denmark. He has also been working at the BEACON Center for Study of Evolution in Action at Michigan State University. He is currently a Professor at the Shantou University, China. His major research interests include applying evolutionary computation and computational intelligence in design automation and optimization of mechatronic systems, computational intelligence, wireless communication networks, MEMS, intelligent control and robotic systems, robot vision etc. He is Principal Investigator for a number of projects sponsored by the Danish Research Agency of Science Technology and Innovation, National Natural Science Foundation of China etc. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, and member of ACM.


Yaochu Jin

Department of Computing, University of Surrey


Yaochu Jin received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from Zhejiang University, China, in 1988, 1991, and 1996, respectively, and the Dr.-Ing. Degree from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, in 2001. He is currently a Professor of Computational Intelligence and Head of the Nature Inspired Computing and Engineering (NICE) Group, Department of Computing, University of Surrey, UK. His research interests include understanding evolution, learning and development in biology and bio-inspired approached to solving engineering problems. He is an Associate Editor of BioSystems, the IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine. He is also an Editorial Board Member of Evolutionary Computation. He is an Invited Plenary / Keynote Speaker on several international conferences on various topics, including multi-objective machine learning, computational modeling of neural development, morphogenetic robotics and evolutionary aerodynamic design optimization. He is the General Chair of the 2012 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and Program Chair of 2013 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation. Dr Jin is Vice President for Technical Activities and an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. He is Fellow of BCS and Senior Member of IEEE.


Hod Lipson

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University


Hod Lipson is a Professor of Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a co-author of the recent book “Fabricated: The New World of 3D printing”. His work on self-aware and self-replicating robots, food printing, and bio-printing has received widespread media coverage including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, CNN, and the National Public Radio. Lipson has co-authored over 200 technical papers and speaks frequently at high-profile venues such as TED and the US National Academies. Lipson received his Mechanical Engineering PhD in 1998 from Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Before joining the faculty of Cornell in 2001, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Brandeis University’s Computer Science Department and a Lecturer at MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Hod directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create, and machines that are creative.


Erik Goodman

BEACON Centerfor Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University, USA


Erik D. Goodman is PI and Director of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University, funded at $25 million for 2010-15, extendable to 2020. He studies application of evolutionary principles to solution of engineering design problems. He received the Ph.D. in computer and communication sciences from theUniversityofMichiganin 1971. He joined MSU’s faculty in Electrical Engineering and Systems Science in 1972, was promoted to full professor in 1984, and holds appointments in Mechanical Engineering and in Computer Science and Engineering. He directed the Case Center for Computer-Aided Engineering and Manufacturing from 1983-2002, and MSU’s Manufacturing Research Consortium from 1993-2003.  He co-founded MSU’s Genetic Algorithms Research and Applications Group (GARAGe) in 1993.  In 1999, he co-founded of Red Cedar Technology, Inc., which develops design optimization software. He was chosen Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year, 2009, by the Presidents Council, State Universities ofMichigan. He was Chair of the Executive Board and a Senior Fellow of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, 2003-2005. He was founding chair of the ACM’s SIG on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO) in 2005.


Schedule of the Workshop

An estimated schedule of the workshop includes one or two paper oral presentation sessions, depending on the number of papers accepted for presentation. It is estimated that 4 – 8 papers will be accepted for oral presentation.  Besides this, we also plan to have an additional session with invited talks and discussions, when video demonstrations are expected to be given.

Important Dates

  • Paper submission deadline: March 28th
  • Notification of acceptance: April 15th
  • Camera-ready deadline: April 25th
  • Workshop at GECCO 2014: July 12th -13th

Paper Submission

Submitted papers should follow the ACM format, and not exceed 8 pages. Please see the GECCO 2014 information for authors for further details. However, note that the review process of the workshop is not double-blind. Hence, authors’ information should appear in the paper.

All accepted papers will be presented at the workshop and appear in the GECCO workshop volume. Proceedings of the workshop will be published on USB Keys, and distributed at the conference.

Papers should be submitted in PostScript or PDF format to:, and contain the subject “GECCO 2014 Workshop”(NOT through the GECCO electronic submission system). A confirmation of receipt email will be sent by return.


This will be a half-day workshop. Each presentation is planned to last for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussions, and the panel will last 45 minutes.


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