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GBG (General Board Game Playing & Learning) is an Open Source software framework developed at Technical University of Cologne. GBG aims to ease the entry for the students in Game learning research area which is a very interesting sub-field of artifical intelligence. Last year, two students finished their Bachelor theses successfully on the basis of the GBG under supervision of Prof. Konen. 

GBG framework can already be used for research purposes by comparing performances of different implemented intelligent agents on different implemented games. But the most interesting fact about GBG is, that any other board game or agent can easily be embedded and used. If you are interested you can read more about GBG here.

Thanks to the flexibility of GBG, many new themes in Game learning and AI can be considered as a possible Bachelor or Master thesis topics. The topics can be either implementation of a new game and analysing the performance of the currently implemented agents on such games or implementing a new agent (learning algorithm) and study its effectiveness on the already existing games. 

 In case you are interested in any of the following topics (or anythign similar) please contact Prof. Konen.



  • Hex in GBG
  • Dots and boxes in GBG
  • ...

Software engineeing

  • Client-Server-Architektur für GBG
  • Competition Framework in GBG (Round-robin Tournaments, Multi-objective Visualization)
  • ...

New ideas are also appreciated.

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The annual Computational Intelligence workshop in Dortmund is a great place for sharing new ideas and recent work done in computational-intelligence related topics. This year, the GMA workshop took place on 23-24 of November at the Dorint Hotel in Dortmund. Our team presented two papers in the fields of surrogate models and time series analysis. In total there were 4 papers presented from members of TH Köln, Campus Gummersbach.

Besides receiving effective feedbacks about our own work, we also had a chance of  listening to many interesting talks about related research work, done in different universities. The presentations had very diverse topics: from more practical ones to very abstract and mathematical ones. The friendly atmosphere, constructive critics and open discussions make this workshop very special and productive.


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If you are interested in our recent article Self-adjusting parameter control for surrogate-assisted constrained optimization under limited budgets  which appeared in the journal Applied Soft Computing (ASOC), please take the opportunity to follow this link: For a period until November, 02, 2017, this link will provide the free download of the final journal article. (After this period, the link is still

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The OC Digital Day organiezed by TH Köln and Opitz Consulting group has taken place at TH Köln Campus Gummersbach last Sturday. Many talks and a few keynotes were presented in the field of digitalising (model-based optimization, Big Data, Oracle, Gamification, smart home, ...) by Opitz employees as well as TH Köln students. Our group also joined this coneference with a presentation about the main ideas behind the model-based optimization for real world problems.

You can find a short video about Digital Day here.

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We had the chance to present our work in the field of online model selection for surrogate assisted multivariate optimization in the 15th workshop of quality improvment methods which was held in Dortmund and organized by the statistics faculty of TU Dortmund. You can read more about the quality improvemnet annual workshops here.

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Due to a major release change in SPOT, the newest package version SPOT 2.0 on CRAN is currently not compatible with TDMR 1.5 (and TDMR 1.4). Therefore TDMR is currently archived on CRAN. We are working on an update. For the time being:

You can download TDMR 1.5 (and 1.4) together with the last compatible SPOT 1.1.0 from this web site. Please follow the installation instructions here on our download page.

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We are delighted to announce that our recent research work related to online model selection for constrained optimization has been accepted for publication and it will be presented at SSCI 2016.  The SSCI 2016 conference will be held in Athens, Greece, from 6th to 9th of December, 2016. Many plenary and keynote talks are planned in the wide filed of computational intelligence. 

Our article "Online Selection of Surrogate Models for Constrained Black-Box Optimization" received many positive reviews. In our former work, we have developed a surrogate assisted algorithm for optimization under constraints which builds a separate surrogate model for each constraint and objective function. Then it tries to solve the optimization problem on the surrogates. So far, we always used the same model type for all functions. Now, these functions can be of completely different types for each constraint and objective, leading to possibly better models. This formed our motivation to think about an online algorithm which selects out of an ensemble the best model for each function in each iteration. We have shown that the SACOBRA optimizer with ensembles of models improves success rates by 15% in comparison to SACOBRA with a fixed model. 

The figure shows our best ensemble "MQ-Cubic" (an ensemble of different multiquadric RBFs and cubic RBFs, red curve), in comparison to fixed variants (blue and violet curves). The data profile is a measure of optimization success on a suite of problems, the higher the better:



If you are interested in reading our paper you can download it from If you are attending the SSCI 2016 conference, don't miss our presentation wink

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This year the bi-annual IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence WCCI was held in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. WCCI is one of the biggest world congress on Computational intellignce and this year the number of participants with about 1800 researchers broke all the time record. You can find more information about this congress here.



Our team had the honor to present our recent work on "equality constraint handling" in this important conference. If you are interested in our work you can find  it here. In case you are interested to have access to our presentation slides please contact us.

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Group photo SAMCO

SAMCO workshop took place from February 29, 2016 till March 4, 2016 at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. In this workshop many researchers and PhD students who are active in the field of surrogate assisted multi criteria optimization were invited. Among the participants there were three PhD students (Martin Zaefferer, Martina Friese, Samineh Bagheri) from Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln). But not all the participants were from academia and many were from industry. 

The workshop's main concept was to share different ideas toegther and also work together on different subjects. During a week of workshop 5 subjects were discussed in 5 different sub-groups and some preliminary results were discussed, you can find more information about what was going on in this workshop here. Furtheremore, PhD students could find a chance to present some parts of their research work to the others and recieve some feedback. You can find many of the presentations here.