On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 3:05 PM, White, David <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear Sean,

Congratulations on your successful grant! This is wonderful news.

> 1. We need suggestions for what we should do beyond the list below (which is a summary of roughly what we proposed). In order to convert ECJ into a general-purpose toolkit that could serve as a central library to the generl metaheuristics community, what is missing from our proposed work below? What would you like to see?

A few things come immediately to mind:

- make ECJ much easier to use programmatically. Running experiments typically requires frequent invocation of ECJ, and I’d much rather do this from within my own code via a clean elegant API.

- try to simplify the design. I’ve heard a lot of people say they found ECJ unwieldy at first. I have some vague ideas on what to simplify/remove, but this would required some further thought.

- (this is just a suggestion) - consider Scala, either in terms of providing a Scala API or else rewriting some/all of ECJ in Scala. This is a controversial idea, I realise! I’m not sure whether it is on the whole a sensible decision or not, it would require some debate. With the rise of data analysis via Apache Spark etc., ECJ might want to at least consider going in this direction.

- get rid of the parameter file system. A lot of students have complained about this in the past. The “cascading” nature of the files can be very confusing and error-prone. It also results in an inelegant approach to using the system programmatically (see my first point).

- consider interoperability with other frameworks, e.g. in terms of being able to reuse their variation operations.

- consider supporting hyper heuristics.

> 2. We'll be building a board of "power users" of ECJ to assess the work and make recommendations here and there. It'll be infrequent and minimal work on your part, but it's important for us. I would like you to recommend (directly to me) people to be on that board. Yes you can recommend yourself.

I’d like to volunteer!

This is great news, congratulations again!

Best Wishes,



Ph.D student in Computer Science, George Mason University
CFO and Web Director, Journal of Mason Graduate Research