Research

Machine Learning – The ever increasing availability of data opens up new methods for scientific research and creates possibilities to deepen our understanding of nature and human behavior. My core field of research is reinforcement learning, scalable combinatorial reasoning, and games.


Groups


Projects

  • Quantum Software Consortium 
    People: Carlo Beenakker, Dirk Bouwmeester, Harry Buhrman, Ronald Cramer, Ronald Hanson, Ronald de Wolf, Stephanie Wehner, Eric Eliel, Joost Kok, Marcello Bonsangue, Aske Plaat
    The ministry for Education, Culture and Science has awarded a Gravitation grant for large-scale research on quantum software. This grant of 18.8 million euro unites researchers from QuSoft, CWI, Leiden University, QuTech, TU Delft, UvA and the VU in pursuing state of the art research programs in this new field. LIACS performs research into Quantum Machine Learning.
    Funding: NWO 2017-2027
  • Quantum Annealing Optimization Algorithms
    People: Sheir Yarkoni, Florian Neukart, Thomas Bäck, Aske Plaat
    Industry-relevant optimization problems may have many different forms, for example: continuous, stochastic, high-dimensional, and more. However, commercial quantum annealers can currently only solve QUBO problems, so problems need to be posed to the annealer in this form. Since finding an optimal transformation to QUBO is an NP-hard problem in itself, discovering efficient ways of generating QUBO forms for generic optimization problems is the first step in this research. We will also study Evolutionary Algorithms and Quantum Annealing.
    Funding: LIACS & DWAVE 2017-
  • The Computer Science challenge of calibrating the ionosphere over the SKA sky
    People: Alexandar Mechev, Huub Röttgering, Joost Kok, Huib Intema, Todor Stefanov, Aske Plaat
    The ICT challenges faced by the SKA project are formidable. One of the hardest problems is how to calibrate the ionosphere to the level required by the science. The focus of this project is to build an ionospheric calibration software test-bed with which we will (i) investigate the complexity of the existing algorithms in space and time, (ii) identify bottlenecks that prevent scaling to larger data volumes, (iii) study how to modify an/or replace (parts of) the existing algorithms to overcome malicious scaling, (iv) design, implement and test such modifications or replacements.
    Funding: DOME and NWO Netherlands Science Foundation, 2015-2019
  • Making Sense of Illustrated Handwritten Archives
    People: Michiel Thijssen, Ernest Suyver, Maarten Heerlien, Lambert Schomaker, Lissa Roberts, Joost Kok, Jaap van den Herik, Andreas Weber, Fons Verbeek, Michael Lew, Katy Wolstencroft, Lise Stork, Aske Plaat
    Large and important parts of our cultural heritage are stored in archives that are difficult to access.  The project aims to develop a technologically advanced and user-centered digital environment that provides access to archives containing handwritten notes and illustrations.
    Funding: NWO Creative Industries and Brill Publishers, 2016-2020
  • HEPGAME
    People: Jos Vermaseren, Jaap van den Herik, Aske Plaat, Franz Herzog,  Ali Mirsoleimani, Mathias Ritzmann, Ben Ruijl, Takahiro Ueda
    Topic: The goal of HEPGAME is to solve significantly larger High Energy Physics data sets than is currently possible by using a new class of stochastic, non-heuristic, satisficing algorithms that emerged recently in combinatorial search.
    Funding: Advanced Grant European Research Council. (press-release), 2013-2018
  • Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training
    People: Wim Veling, Stefan Bogaerts, Catholijn Jonker, Aske Plaat
    Psychiatric forensic inpatients are frequently victim of aggressive behavior by fellow patients, as well as perpetrators of aggression. In this study, a Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (VRAPT) is developed. VRAPT offers an interactive three-dimensional virtual ‘real-life’ world in which social situations and interactions can be experienced and practiced.
    Funding: NWO Netherlands Science Foundation, 2015-2017
  • Grip on Software
    People: Leon Helwerda, Aske Plaat, Fons Verbeek, Jeroen van der Leije, Frank Niessink
    How can we further streamline the development of software for the government? Leiden University and ICTU are to investigate this in a joint research project that was launched on 6 July 2016. The Dutch government uses a lot of software – DigiD, for instance, or software to open and close bridges automatically. Much of that software is developed by ICTU, a Dutch government organization that helps other government institutions in the realisation of digital services.
    Funding: ICTU, 2016-2020
  • Efficient Dependable Space-Borne Computing through Advanced Reconfigurability Concepts
    People: Giorgio Magistrati, Gianluca Furano, Marco Rovatti, Christian Fuchs, Todor Stefanov, Aske Plaat
    A spacecraft’s on-board computer (OBC) and all involved supporting components must perform a growing number of tasks within an increasingly complex system. OBCs must therefore assure consistency of both stored data and system logic at all times during the mission, providing saving and recovery mechanisms. However, hardware-side error detection and correction (EDAC) measures decline in efficiency for modern highly-scaled components due to diminishing returns when compensating with more hardware EDAC.
    Funding: ESA, 2016-2020

 Grants, Honors, Awards

  • LIACS participates in the Quantum Software Consortium that received a 10 year Gravitation grant in 2017, 18.8M
  • ERC Advanced Grant for the 5 year HEPGAME project (co-author) 2012, 1.7M
  • NWO Medium Equipment Grant: Little Green Machine II (co-author) 2016, 0.5M
  • ICTU Data Mining & Software Engineering (author), 2016, 0.3M
  • NWO Grant Creative Industries: Making Sense of Handwritten Archives (co-author) 2015, 0.9M.
  • NWO Grant VRAPT:  Virtual Reality Aggression Prevention Training (co-author) 2014, 0.7M.
  • KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences evening of science and society, scientific co-host, 2012.
  • Novag Award for the best computer chess publication (author) 1996.
  • Champion Dutch Open Computer Chess Championship for MIT’s chess program Cilkchess (co-author) 1996.

Professional Service

  • Member of the Computer Systems ASCI research school, 2014-
  • Member of the board of the national research school for Artificial Intelligence SIKS, 2016-
  • Member of the national Computer Science Platform IPN, 2016-
  • Member of the PRACE Access Committee, 2016-
  • General Chair of the 9th International Conference on Computers and Games 2016, July, 2016, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • Guest-editor Theoretical Computer Science, 2016
  • eScience Integrator at the Netherlands eScience Center, 2015-
  • Deputy-Editor of the Journal of the International Computer Games Association, 2011-2015
  • General Chair of the 14th International Conference Advances in Computer Games 2015, July 1-3, 2015, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • Deputy-chair Examcommittee Cyber Security Academy The Hague, 2014-
  • Chair of Symposium Teamwork and Software Quality, October 4, 2013, Tilburg, the Netherlands.
  • Co-chair of 8th International Conference on Computers and Games 2013, August 13-15, 2013, Yokohama, Japan
  • General Chair of RWBIC12 Rijk met Wetenschap: Bestuur is Informatie Conferentie June 7, 2012, Tilburg, the Netherlands
  • Co-chair of 13th International Conference Advances in Computer Games 2011, Nov 20-22, 2011, Tilburg, the Netherlands
  • Co-chair of 7th International Conference on Computers and Games 2010, Sept 24-26, 2010, Kanazawa, Japan
  • External Member of the Advisory Council for Computer Science Education at the Faculty of Science, VU Amsterdam, 2007-2011.

Reviewer/Program Committee Member for

  • Science
  • ACM Computing Surveys
  • Theoretical Computer Science (TCS)
  • IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics (SMC)
  • IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II
  • Artificial Intelligence (AIJ)
  • Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD16)
  • Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD)
  • Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (JPDC)
  • High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC)
  • International Symposium for Parallel Processing (IPPS)
  • IEEE International Conference on Computer Languages (ICCL)
  • International Symposium on High Performance Computing (HPCS)
  • International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI, IJCAI16)
  • National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • Stichting Informatica Onderzoek Nederland (SION)
  • Journal of the International Computer Games Association (ICGA)
  • Computers and Games (CG)
  • Advances in Computer Games (ACG)
  • International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART)
  • Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS)
  • Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • International Joint Conferences on Ambient Intelligence

MTD(f) Algorithm


Students

Present:

PhD

  1. Armon Toubman (PhD) Adaptive Aerial Training Scenarios (with Pieter Spronck, Jan Joris Roesingh and Jaap van den Herik) 2013-
  2. Ali Mirsoleimani  (PhD) Parallel Monte Carlo Tree Search (with Jos Vermaseren and Jaap van den Herik) 2013-
  3. Esther Kuindersma (PhD) Serious Gaming for Aviation Training (with Jaap van den Herik and Jelke van der Pal) 2015-
  4. Tyron Offerman (PhD) Enterprise Capabilities (with Christoph Stettina) 2015-
  5. Alexandar Mechev (PhD) Profile-based optimization of LOFAR processing pipelines (with Huub Röttgering, Huib Intema and Todor Stefanov) 2015-
  6. Christian Fuchs (PhD) Fault-tolerant computing for nano-satellites (with Todor Stefanov) 2016-
  7. Lise Stork (PhD) Biosemantics (with Katy Wolstencroft and Fons Verbeek) 2016-
  8. Sheir Yarkoni (PhD) Combinatorial Quantum Algorithms (with Thomas Bäck and Florian Neukart) 2017-
  9. Hui Wang (PhD) Combinatorial Optimization (with Michael Emmerich) 2017-

MSc & BSc

  1. Terry Zabel (MSc) (with Simon Portegies Zwart and Kris Rietveld)
  2. Julius Koschny (MSc) (with Alfons Laarman)

Past:

  1. Arup Guha (BSc) (with Charles Leiserson)
  2. Rob van Nieuwpoort (PhD) (with Henri Bal), now at eScience center Amsterdam
  3. Jason Maassen (PhD) (with Henri Bal), now at eScience center Amsterdam
  4. Ronald Veldema (PhD) (with Henri Bal), now at University of Erlangen-Nurnberg
  5. Peter Dozy (MSc) (with Henri Bal), now at Vektis
  6. Mirjam Bakker (MSc) (with Henri Bal), now at ICT beheergroep
  7. Rob Buis (MSc) (with Maarten van Steen), now at Research in Motion
  8. Ronald Blankendaal (MSc) (with Henri Bal), now at Lost Boys International
  9. Monique Dewanchand (MSc) (with Henri Bal), now at Blender
  10. Martijn Thieme (MSc) (with Henri Bal), now at Quince
  11. Christine van der Aa (MA, cum laude) (with Rutger-Jan van der Gaag and Mark Swerts), now at Eindhoven University of Technology, best-thesis prize Hannemieke Foundation
  12. Lotte Wilmer (MA), now at Claeren
  13. Remko Arts (MA) (with Antal van den Bosch and Eric Postma), now at Cognizant Technology Solutions
  14. Nadia Ahmad Awan (MSc) (with Piet Ribbers and Joost Visser), now at Shell
  15. Erik Theunissen (MA) (with Per van der Wijst)
  16. Romy van Sambeek (MA) (with Per van der Wijst)
  17. Natalie Leijnen (MA) (with Willem Stapel, Mike Sabiran, and Pieter Spronck)
  18. Emily Weimar (MA, cum laude) (with Joost Visser, Ariadi Nugroho, Martijn Goudbeek and Alexander Schouten), now at Campina
  19. Suus van de Wijdeven (MA) (with Willem Stapel, Mike Sabiran and Alexander Schouten)
  20. Malou Stillekens (MA) (with Martijn Goudbeek and Alexander Schouten)
  21. Felix Bindels (MA) (with Cas Hoogbergen, Claartje van Ulden and Per van der Wijst)
  22. Jeff de Ruyter (MMI), now at Saxion
  23. Evelyn van Kelle (MSc, cum laude) (with Per van der Wijst and Joost Visser), now at Software Improvement Group
  24. Hein Bijvoet (MMI), now at Hogeschool van Amsterdam
  25. Susanne Finken (MSc) (with Per van der Wijst, Martijn Goudbeek, and Maria Mos)
  26. Coen Vermeij (MSc) (with Christoph Stettina)
  27. Stijn Pielage (MSc) (with Marijke Somers)
  28. Miao He (MSc) (with Ricardo Cachucho)
  29. Lucas van der Meer (MSc, cum laude) (with Joost Visser and Christiaan Ypma)
  30. Mathé Zeegers (MSc) (with Walter Kosters)
  31. Yaxin Zhang (MSc) (with Claudia Bucker)
  32. Tama McGlinn (BSc)
  33. Thomas Helling (BSc) (with Jaap van den Herik)
  34. Vasilis Stavropoulos (MSc) (with Ricardo Cachucho and Joost Kok)
  35. Mahya Mirtar (MSc) (with Thomas Baar and Frank Takes)
  36. Arthur van Rooijen (BSc)
  37. Michiel Vos (MSc) (with Walter Kosters)
  38. Laurens Jansma (BSc) (with Matthijs van Leeuwen)
  39. Frank van Rijn (MSc) (with Jonathan Vis and Walter Kosters)
  40. Tim Visser (BSc) (with Bas van Stein)
  41. Kaihua Liu (MSc) (with Irene Martorelli and Janne van Kollenburg)
  42. Deepak Soekhoe (MSc, cum laude) (with Peter van der Putten)
  43. Adriaan van der Helm (MSc) (with Hans Le Fever)
  44. Cong Chen (MSc) (with Cor Veenman)
  45. Florian Treurniet (MSc) (with Kris Rietveld and John Romein)
  46. Yorick van der Vorm (BSc) (with Cor Veenman)
  47. Yorick Bolster (BSc) (with Kris Rietveld)

PhD promotions:

  1. Mohamed Tleis “Image analysis for Gene Expression based Phenotype Characterization in Yeast Cells“, 6 July 2016, Leiden. Promotores: Thomas Bäck, Aske Plaat. Co-promotor: Fons Verbeek
  2. Ben Ruijl Advances in computational methods for Quantum Field Theory calculations“, 2 November 2017, Leiden. Promotores: Aske Plaat, Jaap van den Herik. Co-promotor: Jos Vermaseren

PhD reading & defense committees:

  1. Tim Rühl “Collective Computation in Object-based Parallel Programming Languages” (VU Amsterdam) 2000
  2. John Romein “Multigame – An Environment for Distributed Game-Tree Search” (VU Amsterdam) 2001
  3. Rob van Nieuwpoort “Efficient Java-centric grid computing” (VU Amsterdam) 2003
  4. Fritz Reul “New Architectures in Computer Chess” (Tilburg) 2009
  5. Bart Bogaert “Cloud Content Contention” (Tilburg) 2011
  6. Reza Haydarlou “Towards Use-Case Driven Self-Management of Distributed Systems” (Delft) 2011
  7. Klaas Huijbregts “Collaborative care for depression in primary care, and the influence of concomitant physical symptoms” (VU Amsterdam) 2013
  8. Giel van Lankveld “Quantifying Individual Player Differences” (Tilburg) 2013
  9. Jeroen Janssens “Outlier Selection and One-Class Classification” (Tilburg) 2013
  10. Diane Nijs “Imagineering the Butterfly Effect” (Groningen) 2014 (defense only)
  11. Peter de Kock “Anticipating Criminal Behavior” (Tilburg) 2014
  12. Jasmina Maric “Web Communities, Immigration, and Social Capital” (Tilburg) 2014
  13. Daniel Gaida “Dynamic Real-Time Substrate Feed Optimization of Anaerobic Co-Digestion Plants” (Leiden) 2014
  14. Paulien Meesters “Intelligent Blauw” (Tilburg) 2014
  15. Shengfa Miao “Structural Health Monitoring Meets Data Mining” (Leiden) 2014
  16. Frank Takes “Algorithms for Analyzing and Mining Real-World Graphs” (Leiden) 2014 (defense only)
  17. Thomas Holzmann “Matchmaking for open innovation” (Leiden) 2014
  18. Yuanyuan Zhao “Modelling the dynamics of the innovation process – a data-driven agent-based approach” (Leiden) 2015
  19. Christoph Stettina “Governance in the Knowledge Worker Society” (Leiden) 2015
  20. Jerome Gard “Corporate Venture Management in SMEs” (Leiden) 2015
  21. Ugo Vespier “Mining Sensor Data from Complex Systems” (Leiden) 2015
  22. Rudy van Vliet “DNA Expressions. A formal notation for DNA” (Leiden) 2015 (defense only)
  23. Sung-Shik Jongmans “Automata-Theoretic Protocol Programming” (Leiden) 2016 (defense only)
  24. Ruud Mattheij “The Eyes Have It” (Tilburg) 2016
  25. Wouter Bronsgeest “Meer vorm dan inhoud: Onderzoek naar evaluaties van ICT-projecten bij de overheid” (Twente) 2016
  26. Zhiwei Yang “Meta-heuristics for Vehicle Routing and Inventory Routing Problems” (Leiden) 2016
  27. Emanuele Canella “Semi-partitioned Scheduling and Task Migration in Dataflow Networks” (Leiden) 2016
  28. Christina Weber “Real-time foresight” (Leiden) 2016
  29. Behrooz Nobakht “Actors at work” (Leiden) 2016 (defense only)
  30. Claudio Sa “Pattern Mining for Label Ranking” (Leiden) 2016 (defense only)
  31. Jan van Rijn “Massively Collaborative Machine Learning” (Leiden) 2016
  32. Jonathan Vis “Algorithms for the Description of Molecular Sequences” (Leiden) 2016
  33. Song Wu “Large Scale Visual Search” (Leiden) 2016
  34. Di Liu “Latency, Energy, and Schedulability of Real-Time Embedded Systems” (Leiden) 2017
  35. Yanming Guo “Deep Learning for Visual Understanding” (Leiden) 2017
  36. Alessio Sclocco Accelerating Radio Astronomy with Auto-Tuning” (VU Amsterdam) 2017
  37. Jelena Spasic Improved Hard Real-Time Scheduling and Transformations for Embedded Streaming Applications” (Leiden) 2017

Recent Talks

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