Professor Mengjie Zhang
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Professor Mengjie Zhang Evolutionary Deep Learning and Applications to Image Recognition
ABSTRACT. Image classification and recognition problems occur in our everyday life. Recognising faces in digital images and diagnosing medical conditions from X-Ray images are just two examples of the many important tasks for which we need computer based image classification systems. Since the 1980s, many image analysis algorithms have been developed. Among those algorithms, deep learning particularly deep convolutional neural networks have received very good success and attracted attentions to industry people and researchers in computer vision and image processing, neural networks, and machine learning. However, there are at least three major limitations in deep convolutional neural networks: (1) the learning architecture including the number of layers, the number of feature maps in each layer and the number of nodes in each feature map are still very much determined manually via “trial and error”, which requires a large amount of hand-crafting/trial time and good domain knowledge. However, such experts are hard to find in many cases, or using such expertise is too expensive. (2) Almost all the current deep learning algorithms need a large number of examples/instances (e.g. AlphaGo used over 30 million instances) that many problems do not have. (3) Those algorithms require a huge computational cost that big companies such as Google, Baidu, and Microsoft can cope well but most universities and research institutions cannot.

To address these limitations, evolutionary computation techniques start playing a significant role for automatically determining deep structures, transfer functions and parameters to tackle image classification tasks, and have great potential to advance the developments of deep structures and algorithms. This talk will provide an extended view of deep learning, overview the state-of-the-art work in evolutionary deep learning using GAs/PSO/DE, and discuss some recent developments using Genetic Programming (GP) to automatically evolving deep structures and feature construction for image recognition with a highlight of the interpretation capability and visualisation of constructed features. Finally, recent work and ideas on evolutionary deep transfer learning will be discussed.

Mengjie Zhang is an IEEE Fellow and currently Professor of Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington, where he heads the interdisciplinary Evolutionary Computation Research Group with over 12 staff members, seven postdocs and over 25 PhD students. He is a member of the University Academic Board, a member of the University Postgraduate Scholarships Committee, a member of the Faculty of Graduate Research Board at the University, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) for Faculty of Engineering, and Chair of the Research Committee for the School of Engineering and Computer Science. His research is mainly focused on evolutionary computation, particularly genetic programming, particle swarm optimisation and learning classifier systems with application areas of computer vision and image processing, multi-objective optimisation, and feature selection and dimension reduction for classification with high dimensions, transfer learning, classification with missing data, and scheduling and combinatorial optimisation. Prof Zhang has published over 500 research papers in fully refereed international journals and conferences in these areas. He has been supervising over 100 research thesis and project students including over 30 PhD students.

He has been serving as an associated editor or editorial board member for ten international journals including IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, Evolutionary Computation Journal (MIT Press), IEEE Transactions Emergent Topics in CI, Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines (Springer), Applied Soft Computing, and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, and as a reviewer of over 30 international journals. He has been a major chair for over ten international conferences including IEEE CEC, GECCO, EvoStar and SEAL. He has also been serving as a steering committee member and a program committee member for over 80 international conferences including all major conferences in evolutionary computation. Since 2007, he has been listed as one of the top five world genetic programming researchers by the GP bibliography. He will chair and host IEEE CEC 2019 Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand.

Prof Zhang is a Fellow of Royal Society of New Zealand. He is currently chairing the IEEE CIS Intelligent Systems and Applications Technical Committee. He is the immediate Past Chair for the Emergent Technologies Technical Committee and the IEEE CIS Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee, and a member of the IEEE CIS Award Committee. He is also a vice-chair of the IEEE CIS Task Force on Evolutionary Feature Selection and Construction, a vice-chair of the Task Force on Evolutionary Computer Vision and Image Processing, and the founding chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Chapter in New Zealand.