Thumbnail Poster "Shedding Light into the Black Box of Reinforcement Learning"In September 2021, shortly after the Dataninja retreat, we participated at the KI 2021 44th German Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Alongside fellow members of the Dataninja research training group we, Raphael Engelhardt and Wolfgang Konen from TH Köln together with Laurenz Wiskott and Moritz Lange from RUB Bochum, presented our work on rule extraction from trained reinforcement learning agents in a poster session as part of the workshop "Trustworthy AI in the wild". The conference had to be held virtually which did not affect some very interesting discussions and exchange of new ideas.

Our poster as well as the extended abstract are available online.

Between the third and fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were in September 2021 lucky enough to hold in presence the annual retreat of the Dataninja research group, which was at the same time the group's first ever in-person meeting. The rich and balanced program included presentations of the different Dataninja projects by the respective PhD candidates, scientific talks by guest speakers, networking and outdoor activities in the nature surrounding Willingen.

While the science was top notch, there is definitely room for improvement regarding steering a canoe as the following tracking picture of one of the canoes shows 🙂 ...

(Image: Christoph J Kellner)


For the research project (RL)^3, which is lead by Laurenz Wiskott (RUB) and Wolfgang Konen (TH Köln) and that is illustrated in the figure above, there is now a press release TH Köln available: (sorry, in German only!).

(RL)^3 is part of the graduate school Dataninja (Trustworthy AI for Seamless Problem Solving: Next Generation Intelligence Joins Robust Data Analysis).

We are happy to announce the inauguration event that takes place virtually on Monday, May, 3rd, 16-18.

Our research group (RL)^3 at TH Köln is part of the AI graduate school with a PhD tandem together with Ruhr University Bochum.

Please see the attached PDF dataninja_inauguration_05_03 for all the details and the programme of the inauguration event and how to register.

All interested people are free to join this event!

(RL)^3 is part of the graduate school (Trustworthy AI for Seamless Problem Solving: Next Generation Intelligence Joins Robust Data Analysis).

We are happy to announce that Samineh Bagheri won the Dissertation Price 2020 of TH Köln for her PhD thesis. Her thesis “Self-Adjusting Surrogate-Assisted Optimization Techniques for Expensive Constrained Black Box Problems” deals with state-of-the art optimization algorithms supported by RBF surrogate models.

The award ceremony took place online - as usual in these times - on Monday, Feb, 22nd, 2021, and was conducted by vice president Prof. Klaus Becker (upper row, right), attended by all other members of the presidential committee, including president Prof. Stefan Herzig (upper row, left) and of course the laureate Dr. Samineh Bagheri (lower row, left) and her supervisor Prof. Wolfgang Konen (lower row, right).

Read more about the dissertation price and Samineh Bagheri in this THK-News (sorry, in German only!)

Read more about Samineh's PhD-colloquium (the first fully-online colloq at Leiden University) in this CIOP blog post.