[Abstract] [What we are doing] [Research, Education and Private Activities] [ver.2008] [ver.2007] [ver.2006] [ver.2005] [ver.2004]

Dear my friends in the world,

I made this 2009 annual report as my seasonal greeting to my friends.
Although I should have completed it last month and sent it on the New Year Day, it was quite delayed this year, I am sorry.
I hope to keep in touch with you.

Thinking of you from Japan in early 2010

--- My topics in 2009 ---


Hideyuki TAKAGI (Faculty of Design, Kyushu University)
4-9-1, Shiobaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka, 815-8540 Japan
TEL & FAX <+81>92-553-4555
URL  http://www.design.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~takagi/


Academic Activities: I was a volunteer for IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society (SMC Society: SMCS) as the Vice-President for Cybernetics in 2008-2009, an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on SMC, Part B, and the Chair of Technical Committee on Soft Computing. I gave four plenary talks and one tutorial talk at five international conferences, two seminar talks at Nice Sophia-Antipolis University and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, one SMCS Distinguish Lecturer talk at IEEE SMCS Hungary Section Chapter. I also presented our papers at three international conferences and four domestic conferences.

Research Activities: I had researched on interactive differential evolution at Nice Sophia-Antipolis University for close to three weeks, and two my Bachelor students are following the research results in their simulation evaluation and human subjective evaluation. Joint research on interactive evolutionary computation-based cochlear implant fitting with Fukuoka University starts using the visiting research result.

Educational Activities: Two and three students received Doctoral and Master degrees in March, respectively. As there were no M1, D1, and D2 students, no students could transfer lab culture to new students from April. Now, there are one M1, two B4, and one Research students in my lab.

Private: The younger daughter became a university student and moved to Shizuoka in April, and my life with only my wife starts. However, we are hosting a exchanging high school student from Finland in August, 2009 - June, 2010. The below is the translation version of our New Year Card including her.

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What we are doing

I am aiming to establish Humanized Computational Intelligence that combines human capability or factors with computational intelligence. So far, interactive evolutionary computation (IEC) is a major tool for me to approach this direction. Please see its detail in my annual report (ver.2008) or my home page.

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Research, Education and Private Activities

January - February

These months are the busiest season for Japanese universities. Enrollment examinations hosted by National Center for University Entrance Examinations, Admission Office Enrollment examination, regular Enrollment examination, that for foreign students, that for Japanese students educated outside of Japan, and that for doctoral course are conducted in these five - six weeks; final check of Bachelor theses and Master theses for their submission, their oral presentation, review for these theses, the final examination, and its marking must be done during these busy days. We have to work on some weekends during these days, it is not easy to find alternative holidays in these busy days. In 2009, hosting oral presentations of two doctoral students and completing tax documentation were added to the mentioned busy educational events.


I was invited by Dr. D. Pallez of Nice University of Sophia-Antipolis and conducted joint research at his institute for close three weeks. I cooked at a hotel room with kitchen and commuted to the university by a bus everyday. Joint research topic is simulational evaluation of Paired Comparison-based Interactive Differential Evolution that seemed to be a powerful Interactive Evolutionary Computation (IEC) tool thanks to Bachelor research in 2008 Fiscal Year.

As mentioned in the above, Humanized Computational Intelligence is my main research topic for long years and IEC is a powerful tool for this direction. IEC is an optimization method that optimizes target systems based on human subjective evaluation for the output from the target systems, such as images and sounds. The biggest remained problem of this technique is human fatigue of a user who cooperates with tireless computer. Especially, when an IEC user has to evaluate sounds, movies, or any other time-sequentially displayed outputs, his/her fatigue becomes serious from the practical use point of view because the user has to memorize sounds or movies in past, compare them, and evaluate them.

Differential Evolution has a feature that is suitable for paired comparison in its algorithm, and we may be able to reduce human fatigue when we can use the feature well because user fatigue for paired comparisons seem less than comparisons of all outputs. Our joint research was to evaluate this point with conventional IEC methods through simulation. Its results were presented at NaBIC2009 in December, and two my Bachelor students in FY2009 are continuing. My student in FY2008 and I filed a patent on this topic based on his 2008 Bachelor research.

Cote d'Azur in Southern France is a beautiful area featured by blue Mediterranean Sea and while mountains. Principality of Monaco is somehow neighbor city of Nice, and I visited during my stay once. Dr.s Pallez & Dartigues invited me to their home a couple of times, and I could their home cooking and special selected wine.

Great view from Nice University of Sophia-Antipolis.


As our younger daughter enrolled a university, our family life pattern turned in the final stage; our elder daughter is working in Tokyo, the younger one is studying in Shizuoka, and my wife and I are in Fukuoka. Some years later, the younger one will start to work and cut herself loose from us. We became the age to think about our old ages.

Japanese academic calendar starts from April, and we faculty members became busy as usual. I share teaching classes together with other faculty members; they are Academic English A, Media Information Processing, Project lab work, and core seminar for undergraduate students, and Applied Mathematics and Computer Science for graduate students.

During teaching classes, I attended the Executive Committee meeting of IEEE SMC Society held in Vancouver. My term of Vice-President ended at the end of 2009, the # of my overseas trip in 2010 will become fewer. One of hot discussions in our society was whether we should change society name.

Thanks to my talk at Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan, Taiwan in Sept., 2008, some faculty members of this university stopped by at my office when they visited their mutual contacted university, Waseda University in Kitakyushu.


There were important epochs on my research in May. They are my presentation at an international conference CEC2009 held in Norway, discussion on joint research at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich on the way from CEC2009, and starting to host a visiting researcher from Iran.

What had me put my visit ETH in my business trip schedule was an e-mail from Dr. P. Harvath. Announcement of my seminar talk at Nice University was sent here and there when I was a visiting researcher there, and he read it and said that they were very interested in my talk topic for their research but could not attend it because of distance to Sophia-Antipolis. He works on image processing & recognition at the Light Microscopy Centre, and their team cooperates with cell biologists and are detecting abnormal cells. They think that convectional approach of automating image recognition has a limitation, want to increase image recognition rate by taking account of visual inspection of domain experts, and thought that my interactive evolutionary computation may become a good tool for this purpose. I also thought that it is technically possible to realize what they expect and was interested in the interdisciplinary area of IEC application to cell biology. This was why I decided to stop by his lab on the way back from CEC2009 in Norway, which was background of my second epoch.

I checked-out a hotel in Norway at 4 AM, transferred at Copenhagen, and arrived at Zurich Airport at 11:30. After lunch, I gave a seminar talk for students and discussed with Dr. Harvath on the possibility of our joint research. As the result, we made a research grant application of 20 pages for a joint research in medical area and applied it to both countries half year later, in November.

When we visited Prof. U. Kutay of biochemistry team, who is the Swiss team leader of our joint research proposal, after our discussion, her team had a wine party on a building roof. They said that they had a party when their team paper is accepted. My lab has a similar custom; we have a party or go to eat together when our journal paper is accepted. I thought that it might be a good idea to increase students' motivation if we have a party when not only journal papers but also conference papers are accepted because there is few chance for Bachelor and Master students to write journal papers.

Mr. M. Karami, who is a Lecturer of Ilam University and has conducted his doctoral research at AmirKabir University of Technology, came to my lab for visiting research for nine months with the financial support from Iran Government (though he had to shorten his visiting research for six months and returned in early November). I brought him from Fukuoka Airport to our International House, and he commuted to my lab everyday.


I attended an international conference, GEC Summit2009, held in Shanghai to know the status of evolutionary computation research in China. Some Chinese IEC researchers whom I know attended, too. Unlike its conference name of World Congress, it is almost Chinese domestic conference from the # of attendees. Big problem was so many Chinese no-shows even if it was held in China, and the General Chair cancelled four parallel sessions and collected all attendees who still remained at the conference venue in one room and let remained authors present their papers in the final afternoon. Some interesting presentations that I marked were no-shows, too. One of recent criticisms is that the biggest objective of many Chinese researchers/students became the # of their papers rather than contribution for science. When I saw these many no-show at this conference even held in their home, I thought that it was one reason that any papers in proceeding are counted as achievements regardless their presentations and ethics education as scientists is necessary.

I attended IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) meeting as a observer in the end of June. TAB consists of all Presidents of IEEE Societies/Councils and is one of the highest decision making units of IEEE which memberships is about 360,000. SMC Society President D. Yeun has a policy to let all Vice-Presents experience the TAB meeting, and I attended it in 2009 based on his policy. I really felt that the amount of information here is quite different from that inside of one society.


I tool full medical care for two days. I have taken full medical care every year since I moved to a university in 1995. I took options of digestive system check and PET (positron emission tomography) this year, I needed two days for the care. I took the first PET examination four years ago, and my thyroid cancer was found in early stage; it was only 7 mm. Since then, I tried to take the PET option regularly and different options for normal medical care year by year.

When I suggest several people to take the PET, some of them are afraid of detecting cancer and hesitate to take the examination. However, I have quite different thinking. Since recent statistics shows that one of two male and one of three female have cancer in whole our life, it is important not to be afraid of having cancer but detect it in early stage under the current condition that anyone can have cancer. If our cancer is detected in early stage, I think that we should be glad of the detection rather than grieve over having cancer. This is why I take PET examination regularly.


I gave a plenary talk at the international Conference, HIS2009, held in Shenyang, China. Just before attending HIS2009, I took two-day summer holidays in Huhhot, Inter Mongolia.

Alatan Tuya, wife of Dr. Linhu Li whom I hired as a postdoctoral researcher before, was grown up in Inter Mongolia, and her stay in Huhhot for the field research of her doctoral research is just before my conference. I moved to Huhhot when her supervisor, Prof. Maeda, and his team arrived there.

I boarded a airplane for Huhhot at scheduled time at Beijing Int. Airport, but we had to stay on runway for three hours because of heavy thunder storm in Huhhot area. When I arrived to Huhhot Airport, my suitcase was missing and I had to spent time there. Due to these trouble, I checked in a hotel at 1:30 AM. The missing suitcase arrived next day, but air company did not deliver it to my hotel and I had to go to airport by taxi, which was said ordinal way there. I gave up to go horse-riding but went to a museum and airport to pick up the suitcase. Prof. Maeda's team and I were invited to a Mongolian restaurant hosted by Alatan Tuya's classmates and enjoy dinner

The second day, I joined a tour of horse-riding. It was a nice experience to ride a hose in a grassland of vast extent. We sightseers tried to control our riding horse by pushing or kicking them, but they did not change their speed. Only exception is voice of a horse guide. Once he made short voice-control, all horses changed their speed. When I cam back to downtown in the evening, I felt tiredness in my legs; surely horse riding is good exercise. Alatan Tuya's mother invited Prof. Maeda's team and I to a Mongolian restaurant for dinner together with TV casters who join the field research of Alatan Tuya and Prof. Maeda's team. Eight members drunk six bottles of Mongolian spirits, and something living in our memory happened.

I moved to Shenyang on Aug. 11, attended HIS2009. As the Vice-President for Cybernetics of IEEE SMC Society, I had tried to bring the HIS conference series as a core Cybernetics conference of our society. I attended HIS2008 held in Barcelona and discussed with HIS Steering Committee members to take SMC Society's sponsorship for HIS conferences. However, I felt that it takes time to make it a conference with SMC society's full sponsorship though discussion in Shenyang this year.

Our Graduate School has Enrollment examination in every August, and 8/19-21 were the examination days in 2009. We cannot make business trip during these days.

Exchanging high school student, Milja, came from Finland. Our younger daughter was hosted in US as an exchanging high school students some years ago, and we decided to host her as our volunteer job with thanks for the organization of the exchanging program. She commutes from our home to a private Christian school, Fukuoka Jo Gakuin Senior High School, till June. She did not take a Japanese language class or study with an language teacher but educated by herself at home in Finland. However, she has enough capability of listening and speaking Japanese in daily life when she arrived. We are surprised by her talent.


I flew to Budapest on Aug. 29, gave a seminar talk at SMC Society Hungary Section Chapter and a presentation at Budapest Tech Jubilee Conference. This trip was started by Prof. I. Rudas's arrangement in January, and one-day workshop was held for memory of his 60th birthday.

Prof. V. E. Balas from Romania heard my talk here and discussed with me on the interactive evolutionary application to psychology. It was an opportunity for me to decide to attend her organized international conference, SOFA2010, held in July.

Taking time till my departure from Budapest in the afternoon, I enjoyed spa at famous Rudas Spa of Turkish style. There are big and small spa pools, sauna, steam bath, water pool, and others with optional massage. It is corresponding to Japanese Super-Spa House, but big difference is its history; it was constructed in 1556.

Prof. S. Kovacs who attended the conference in Budapest stayed in Fukuoka for one night during his busy schedule between lab seminar in Toyo and a conference in Gifu Prefecture. We discussed that his student joined developing graphical user interface of interactive differential evolution.

Prof. Q.F. Zhao of Unit. of Azure organized domestic FAN Symposium in his university, and I presented two papers and chair a session. Int. Workshop on Awareness Computing, is held at the same place parallelly, I was invited to join the technical discussion on awareness computing with some major members. Conventional direction of this research is engineering-oriented, and context mining that obtains new knowledge from web contents is a major research approach. One of discussion outputs may be realizing the importance of basic research of analyzing how humans notice unknown facts from observation and making its human model and decide to bring this scientific approach in Awareness Computing research. Although Awareness Computing was new for me, I thought that my recent research direction, using Interactive Evolutionary Computation as a analysis tool for human science, can be used used for the scientific approach of Awareness Computing. Since then, I has been involved in establishing Technical Committee on Awareness Computing of SMC Society and organizing its international workshop.

My business trip ended when the symposium was closed, and my family trip with my wife and two daughters coming from Tokyo and Shizuoka started. The younger one starts to work and two daughters get marriage in near future, the opportunity of this kind of family trip will become very few.

Chinese student arrived from Dalian, China and started her life in Fukuoka. She officially become a Research Student from Oct. 1. She passed an Enrollment examination for foreign students held in December and will be a Master Course student from April, 2010.


I attended international conference, SMC2009; I arrived in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 9th night, attended an Executive Committee meeting and Board of Governor's meeting in Oct. 10-11, attended SMC2010 technical sessions in Oct. 12-14, and presented a joint paper of my ex-student. I also organized a meeting of Technical Committee Chairs in Cybernetics filed from 7 AM on Oct. 13.

I always try to find time to visit Berkeley/Albany to meet Prof. and Mrs. Zadeh who hosted me in 1991-1993 and retired Mrs. Post who was an elementary class teacher of my elder daughter in those days when I transfer at San Francisco Int. Airport (SFO). As I do not have many opportunities to visit Bay Area in my life and their age is quite elder, it is important for me to find the opportunity. This time, I made my schedule of arriving at SFO at 9:20 AM and leaving from Oakland Airport at 2:47 PM to stop by Berkeley. However, due to delayed arrival of my airplane, I could have only one hour for lunch with Prof. Zadeh. If I had longer time, I could have visited his house and meet Mrs. Zadeh. It was pity. The number of my visit to US became fewer in these years; I feel that the number of international conferences held in US became fewer since 2001.

We hosted an exchanging high school student from Mexico for 10 days of blank days when her host family changed. The organization who asked us to host her temporally is the same one who asked to host Milja from Finland. Thanks to two girls with different characteristics, our meals at my home became cheerful.


I gave a plenary talk at an international conference, IWCIA2010, held in Hiroshima, Japan. As its sponsor is IEEE SMC Society Hiroshima Section Chapter, I am also related with it. My colleague Vice-President, T. T. Lee, President of National Taipei University of Technology, also gave a plenary talk, too. As he and I worked for SMC Society for four years, I wanted to bring him to Fukuoka, but it was difficult to find his time.

Prof. Nakagwa of Dept. of Medical, Fukuoka University and our lab has discussed on joint research on cochlear implant fitting. As we came to be able to demonstrate interactive differential evolution (IDE)-base fitting method, we has a meeting, which was big progress for us. We cannot connect fitting program of a cochlear implant maker and our IDE-based fitting method unless the maker opens their fitting program code, so that we tried to connect two systems manually, i.e. a human fitter reads the fitting parameter values that our IDE-based fitting method outputs into the maker's fitting program. However, we found that it takes quite long time for practical use when we applied the method at this meeting. During our discussion, my student showed a good idea, we will realize it after he submits his Bachelor thesis in January.


In December 3-13, I attended international conference, SoCPaR2009, held Malacca, Malaysia for two days and gave a 90-min. tutorial talk, attended international conference, ICICIC2009, held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for two days and gave a plenary talk, and attended international conference, NaBIC2009, held in Coimbatore, India for two days and gave a plenary talk and a normal talk. As I am the NaBIC2010 General Chair and organize the second congress in Kitakyushu, Japan, I made promotion slides and announced the NaBIC2010 at the NaBIC2009.

I attended a domestic symposium, the 3rd Evolutionary Computation Symposium, held in Naha, Japan in Dec. 19-20 and made a poster presentation. If my memory is correct, my last poster presentation was in 2000; how we are accustomed to computer presentation! I am a Organizing Chair of the 4th EC symposium and hold it in Fukuoka just after the NaBIC2010. We are expecting that the number of participants to both conferences increase thanks to mutual effect.

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