The large variety of heuristic algorithms for hard optimization problems raises numerous interesting and challenging issues. Practitioners using heuristic algorithms for hard optimization problems are confronted with the burden of selecting the most appropriate method, in many cases through expensive algorithm configuration and parameter tuning . Scientists seek theoretical insights and demand a sound experimental methodology for valuating algorithms and assessing strengths and weaknesses. This effort requires a clear separation between the algorithm and the experimenter, who, in too many cases, is "in the loop" as a motivated intelligent learning component. LION deals with designing and engineering ways of "learning" about the performance of different techniques, and ways of using past experience about the algorithm behavior to improve performance in the future. Intelligent learning schemes for mining the knowledge obtained online or offline can improve the algorithm design process and simplify the applications of high-performance optimization methods. Combinations of different algorithms can further improve the robustness and performance of the individual components.
This meeting explores the intersections and uncharted territories between machine learning, artificial intelligence, mathematical programming and algorithms for hard optimization problems. The main purpose of the event is to bring together experts from these areas to discuss new ideas and methods, challenges and opportunities in various application areas, general trends and specific developments. We are excited to be bringing the LION conference in Greece for the third time.