for 13th Annual (2016) "Humies" Awards
for Human-Competitive Results
Produced by Genetic and Evolutionary Computation
To be Held at
Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
July 20-24, 2016 (Wednesday-Sunday)
Entries are hereby solicited for awards totaling $10,000 for
human-competitive results that have been produced by any form of genetic
and evolutionary computation (including, but not limited to genetic
algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, evolutionary
programming, learning classifier systems, grammatical evolution, gene
expression programming, differential evolution, etc.) and that have been
published in the open literature between the deadline for the previous
competition and the deadline for the current competition.
The competition will be held as part of the 2016 Genetic and
Evolutionary Computation (GECCO) conference operated by the Association
for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Genetic
and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO). Presentations of entries will be
made at the conference. The winners of the awards will be announced
during the conference. See
• Wednesday June 1, 2016 - Deadline for entries (consisting of
one TEXT file and one or more PDF files).
Send entries to koza at human-competitive dot org
• Wednesday June 22, 2016 - Finalists will be notified by e-mail
• Thursday July 6, 2016 - Finalists must submit their presentation
(e.g., PowerPoint, PDF) for posting on the competition web site.
Send presentations to koza at human-competitive dot org
• July 20-24,2016 (Wednesday-Sunday) - The GECCO conference
• Wednesday July 20, 2016 (TENTATIVE) - Presentations before judging
committee at public session of the GECCO conference
• Sunday July 24, 2015 (TENTATIVE) - Announcement of awards at
plenary session of the GECCO conference
• Erik Goodman
• Una-May O'Reilly
• Wolfgang Banzhaf
• Darrell Whitley
• Lee Spector
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Techniques of genetic and evolutionary computation are being
increasingly applied to difficult real-world problems — often
yielding results that are not merely academically interesting,
but competitive with the work done by creative and inventive
humans. Starting at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation
Conference (GECCO) in 2004, cash prizes have been awarded for
human-competitive results that had been produced by some form
of genetic and evolutionary computation in the previous year.
This prize competition is based on published results. The
publication may be a paper at the GECCO conference (i.e.,
regular paper, poster paper, or any other full-length paper),
a paper published anywhere in the open literature (e.g.,
another conference, journal, technical report, thesis,
book chapter, book), or a paper in final form that has
been unconditionally accepted by a publication and is
"in press" (that is, the entry must be identical to something
that will be published imminently without any further changes).
The publication may not be an intermediate or draft version
that is still subject to change or revision by the authors
or editors. The publication must meet the usual standards of
a scientific publication in that it must clearly describe a
problem, the methods used to address the problem,
the results obtained, and sufficient information
about how the work was done in order to enable the work
described to be independently replicated.
An automatically created result is considered
"human-competitive" if it satisfies at least one of the
eight criteria below.
(A) The result was patented as an invention in the past,
is an improvement over a patented invention, or would
qualify today as a patentable new invention.
(B) The result is equal to or better than a result that
was accepted as a new scientific result at the time when
it was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
(C) The result is equal to or better than a result that
was placed into a database or archive of results
maintained by an internationally recognized panel of
(D) The result is publishable in its own right as a
new scientific result independent of the fact that the
result was mechanically created.
(E) The result is equal to or better than the most
recent human-created solution to a long-standing problem
for which there has been a succession of increasingly
better human-created solutions.
(F) The result is equal to or better than a result that
was considered an achievement in its field at the time
it was first discovered.
(G) The result solves a problem of indisputable difficulty
in its field.
(H) The result holds its own or wins a regulated
competition involving human contestants (in the form of
either live human players or human-written computer programs).
Contestants should note that a pervasive thread in most
of the above eight criteria is the notion that the result
satisfy an "arms length" standard — not a yardstick based
on the opinion of the author, the author's own institution
(educational or corporate), or the author's own close associates.
"Arms length" may be established in numerous ways. For example,
if the result is a solution to "a long-standing problem for
which there has been a succession of increasingly better
human-created solutions," it is clear that the scientific
community (not the author, the author's own institution,
or the author's close associates) have vetted the
significance of the problem. Similarly, a problem's
significance may be established if the result replicates
or improves upon a scientific result published in a
peer-reviewed scientific journal, replicates or improves
upon a previously patented invention, constitutes
a patentable new invention, or replicates or improves a result
that was considered an achievement in its field at the time
it was first discovered. Similarly, a problem's significance
may be established if the result holds its own or wins a
regulated competition involving live human players or
human-written computer programs. In each of the foregoing
examples, the standard for human-competitiveness is being
established external to the author, the author's own
institution, or the author's close associates. It is also
conceivable to rely only on criterion G ("The result solves
a problem of indisputable difficulty in its field"); however,
if only criterion G is claimed, there must be a clear
and convincing argument that the problem's "difficulty"
is indeed "indisputable."
The competition will be held as part of the annual Genetic
and Evolutionary Computation (GECCO) conference.
Presentations of entries are to be made at the conference.
The awards and prizes will be announced at the conference.
Cash prizes of $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), and bronze
(either one prize of $2,000 or two prizes of $1,000) will
be awarded for the best entries that satisfy one or more of
the criteria for human-competitiveness. The awards will
be divided equally among co-authors unless the authors
specify a different division at the time of submission.
Prizes are paid by check in U.S. dollars after the GECCO
conference. The judges may, based on submissions,
rearrange the prize amounts and prize categories within
the total amount available for prizes.
DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR ENTERING THE "HUMIES"
If you plan to make an entry into this competition, please
check the web site at www.human-competitive.org for updated
information and for possible changes immediately prior to
submitting your entry.
If you make an entry, please re-check the web site prior
to the conference for possible changes in the instructions
or the schedule.
All entries are to be sent electronically to
koza at human-competitive dot org. All entries will be
promptly acknowledged, so please make an inquiry if you do
not receive a reasonably prompt acknowledgment shortly
after your submission.
An entry must consist of one TEXT file and one or more
PDF files. If the same authors are making multiple entries,
please submit separate e-mails, each containing the
required TEXT file and PDF file(s) supporting the entry.
The TEXT file must contain the following 10 items.
Please be very careful to include ALL required information.
Contestants are alerted to the fact that items 6 and 9 are
especially important and will be the main basis by which
entries will be judged. The papers and presentations from
earlier competitions (starting in 2004) are posted at
the competition web site at www.human-competitive.org.
These previous entries may be informative and helpful
in crafting your entry.
1. the complete title of one (or more) paper(s) published
in the open literature describing the work that the author
claims describes a human-competitive result;
2. the name, complete physical mailing address,
e-mail address, and phone number of EACH author of EACH
3. the name of the corresponding author (i.e., the author
to whom notices will be sent concerning the competition);
4. the abstract of the paper(s);
5. a list containing one or more of the eight letters
(A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H) that correspond to the
criteria (see above) that the author claims that the work
6. a statement stating why the result satisfies the
criteria that the contestant claims (see examples of
statements of human-competitiveness as a guide to aid in
constructing this part of the submission);
7. a full citation of the paper (that is, author names;
publication date; name of journal, conference, technical
report, thesis, book, or book chapter; name of editors,
if applicable, of the journal or edited book; publisher
name; publisher city; page numbers, if applicable);
8. a statement either that "any prize money, if any,
is to be divided equally among the co-authors" OR a
specific percentage breakdown as to how the prize money,
if any, is to be divided among the co-authors;
9. a statement stating why the authors expect that their
entry would be the "best," and
10. An indication of the general type of genetic or
evolutionary computation used, such as GA (genetic
algorithms), GP (genetic programming), ES (evolution
strategies), EP (evolutionary programming),
LCS (learning classifier systems), GE (grammatical
evolution), GEP (gene expression programming),
DE (differential evolution), etc.
The PDF file(s) are to contain the paper(s). The strongly
preferred method is that you send a separate PDF file
for each of your paper(s) relating to your entry. Both
the text file and the PDF file(s) for each entry will be
permanently posted on a web page shortly after the
deadline date for entries (for use by the judges, conference
attendees, and anyone else who is interested) and will
remain posted on the web as a permanent record of the
competition. If your paper is only available on the
publisher's web site and your publisher specifically
requires that your published paper may appear only
on your own personal page, the second choice is that you
send link(s) to a separate web page on your web site
containing link(s) to the PDF file(s) of the paper(s) that
constitute your entry. This separate web page is to contain
nothing else, so the interested parties may quickly locate
your paper(s). If you use this second-choice option, you
must ALSO supply a link to a permanent web site maintained by
your publisher where your specific paper may be viewed
or purchased (that is, not a link merely to the publisher's
general home page, but a link to the specific web page
containing your paper on the publisher's site). The objective,
in each case, is to provide a permanent record of the entries
and to make it easy for anyone to locate your material.
Generally, only one paper should be submitted. Note that this
is a competition involving a result that satisfies the
criteria for being human-competitive (not a competition
involving an evaluation of the author's entire body of work).
More than one paper should be submitted only if no single
paper fully describes the specific result or method.
The judging committee will review all entries and identify a
short list for presentation at the GECCO conference.
Finalists will be notified by an e-mail to the corresponding
author. Please acknowledge receipt of this message, so the
judges know that you received your notice. Finalists must
then make a short oral presentation to the judging committee
at a public session of the GECCO conference. The
presentations will be held on one of the
early days of the conference, and the winners will be
announced a day or two later at the conference.
Finalists must submit their presentation (e.g., a PowerPoint,
PDF) by e-mail to koza at human-competitive dot org.
All submissions will be promptly acknowledged, so please make
an inquiry if you do not receive a reasonably prompt
acknowledgment. These presentations will be posted on the
web page for the competition.
At the GECCO conference, there will be 10-minute oral
presentations by the finalists to the judging committee.
The presentations will be open to all conference attendees
at a special session of the conference. The oral
presentation should primarily focus on
1. why the result qualifies as being human-competitive and
2. why the judges should consider the entry as "best" in
comparison to other entries that may also be
"human-competitive" (because, as previously mentioned, these
are the two main standards by which entries will be judged
by the judges).
In the short oral presentation to the judges,
a description of the work itself is decidedly secondary.
By the time of the presentation the judges will be familiar
with the papers. Thus, the focus of the presentation is
on reasons why the work being presented should win a prize
— not an explanation or presentation of the work itself.
In the unlikely event that a presenter is scheduled
to make a presentation elsewhere at the GECCO conference
at the same time, please notify the judging committee, so
they can rearrange time slots.
After the oral presentations, the award committee will
meet and consider the presentations.
The presenting author for each entry must register for the
A judge will recuse himself or herself if he or she is
closely associated with a finalist (e.g., a current academic
advisor, current collaborator, co-author with the finalist
of related work).
Additional information is at www.human-competitive.org
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