Research Experience Hartmut Pohlheim

For the last five years I have been working as a researcher and consultant for Daimler Benz AG, Research and Technology, Autonomous and Intelligent Systems group, Berlin, Germany. Till June 1998 I was also a Ph.D.-student in the Dynamics and Simulation of ecological Systems Group of the Department of Computer Science and Automation at the Technical University Ilmenau, Germany. At the beginning of my Ph.D. I worked as a visiting researcher in the Automatic Control and Systems Engineering group at the University of Sheffield, Great Britain.

During all these years I worked on the development and application of optimization techniques, especially evolutionary algorithms. This includes the development and test of optimization algorithms, the implementation of these algorithms for engineering use and their application to real world problems.

In my Ph.D. thesis "Development and Engineering Application of Evolutionary Algorithms" I present a number of extensions for evolutionary algorithms:

A longer and more complete description of the contents of the thesis is given in "Summary of the Ph.D. thesis".

During my work with evolutionary algorithms I used and implemented a number of different algorithms. This includes algorithms for parameter optimization (using different representations - real, integer, binary) and ordering problems and their corresponding operators in multiple variants. All these algorithms are fully integrated into one toolbox for consistent use (Genetic and Evolutionary Algorithm for use with Matlab). Additionally, the toolbox contains extensive visualization and reporting tools to analyze and examine the state and course of the optimization runs.

A number of real world applications was solved in collaboration with engineers and researchers from other research labs or groups. My part of the work contained the application of optimization methods to the problems and the development of problem specific analysis algorithms and methods and the extension of the given simulation programs and models.

Most of these problems were solved using evolutionary algorithms and the GEA Toolbox. Sometimes I also used deterministic optimization techniques (mostly gradient based), depending on the problem to solve.

During the work on the these problems both sides, the problem specialists and me, profited from the work and the results. Beside the solution of the problems every time previously unknown information about the problems could be found or derived and existing limitations were resolved. I could extend my optimization methods and tools and learn more about new application areas.

In my future work I would like to apply my experience in the area of optimization to new application areas and challenging real world problems and to extend my knowledge of optimization and other machine learning techniques.

Hartmut Pohlheim.

Copyright © Hartmut Pohlheim, last update: June 2000.