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Human Competitive Awards, deadline 2 June 2023
Call For Entries
20th Annual (2023) "Humies" Awards
For Human-Competitive Results Produced by Genetic and Evolutionary Computation
To be held as part of:
Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO)
July 15-19, 2023 (Saturday - Wednesday)
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,
genetic improvement, etc.) and that have been published in the open,
reviewed literature between the deadline for the previous competition
and the deadline for the current competition.
The competition will be held as part of the Genetic and
Evolutionary Computation (GECCO) conference operated by the
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group (SIG)
on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO). GECCO will
likely be held in a hybrid manner, so either in-person or virtual
participation will be possible. Watch the GECCO website
(https://gecco-2023.sigevo.org/HomePage) for details.
If in-person attendance is allowed, Humies entrants
selected as finalists may present either in person, or virtually
by submission of a 10-minute video presentation. All video
entries will subsequently be made available to the public on the
Human-Competitive.org website, the GECCO website, and posting on
YouTube. The winners of the awards will be announced during the
This information is also available at the GECCO-2023 website, under
the "Calls" dropdown at top of the main page, which takes you to
https://gecco-2023.sigevo.org/Humies). At least one author of the
submission must be registered for GECCO, although there is no
requirement to present a paper there--only the in-person or video
presentation of the Humies entry is required.
* Friday June 2, 2023
Deadline for entries (consisting of one TEXT file, PDF files for
one or more papers, and possible "in press" documentation. Please
send entries to goodman at msu dot edu
* Friday June 16, 2023
Finalists will be notified by e-mail
* Friday, June 30, 2023
Finalists who will not be in Lisbon to present in person must
submit a 10-minute video presentation to goodman at msu dot edu.
Finalists who will present in person must submit a copy of their
slides, for the advance use of the judges, to goodman at msu dot edu.
* July 15-19, 2023 (Saturday - Wednesday)
(the schedule for the Humies session is not yet final, so please check
the GECCO program as it is updated for the time of the Humies session)
* Monday, July 17, 2023
Presentation session, where either a live presentation will be
given or the 10-minute videos will be shown.
* Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Announcement of awards at the plenary session of the GECCO conference
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
must be a refereed publication in the open literature (e.g., the GECCO
conference, any another reviewed conference or workshop, journal, or
chapter in edited book). Submission of more than one entry by a
single person or team is allowed.
The competition is open to any paper
(1) published in the open literature between May 28, 2022
(the deadline for the previous year's competition) and June 2, 2023
(the deadline for this competition), (explicitly including GECCO-2022
and GECCO-2023) or
(2) that is "in press" by the deadline for this competition.
"In Press" means the paper must have been unconditionally accepted
for publication and be identical to that which will be published
imminently without the possibility of any further changes or revision
by the authors or editors. For example, a paper accepted for the
current year's GECCO conference would not have been published by
the deadline for the competition. However, because the paper has
already been unconditionally accepted for publication (and the
final camera-ready version submitted to the conference prior to
the deadline for this competition), a GECCO paper is "in press."
If an entry is "in press," the entry must include a copy of the
documentation establishing that the paper meets this requirement.
The paper 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 to be independently
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 scientific experts.
(D) The result is publishable in its own right as a new scientific
result independent of the fact that the result was mechanically
(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
(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. Entries chosen to be
finalists will be presented to the judges and the public in a
10-minute in-person presentation at GECCO or in a video presentation
submitted to goodman at msu dot edu no later than Friday, June 30,
2023. These videos will be made available soon thereafter to the
judges, but not posted until the beginning of the
conference. Submission of a video constitutes agreement to posting of
the video on websites of Human-Competitive.org, of GECCO, and on
YouTube. Finalists submitting videos must also submit the ACM
audio/video release form allowing ACM to post it on YouTube. The
organizers believe that making these videos readily available will
help to enhance the prestige of the field. 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
Prizes are paid by the ACM either by check in U.S. dollars or by bank
transfer, after the GECCO conference. The judges may, based on
submissions, reallocate 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 for updated information and for possible last-minute changes
immediately prior to submitting your entry. Similarly, if you are
selected as a finalist, please re-check the web site frequently prior
to the conference for possible last-minute changes in instructions or
All entries are to be sent electronically to goodman at msu dot edu.
All entries will be promptly acknowledged, so please make an
inquiry if you do not receive a reasonably prompt acknowledgment
within a few days after your submission.
An entry must consist of one TEXT file and one or more PDF files.
In addition, if the paper is "in press" as of the deadline date
for submissions, an additional document must be submitted.
If authors are making multiple entries to the competition, they
should submit separate e-mails, each containing the required
TEXT file and PDF file(s) supporting the entry.
The TEXT file must contain the following 11 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
1. the complete title of one (or more) paper(s) published in the open
literature describing the work that the author claims describes a
2. the name, complete physical mailing address, e-mail address, and
phone number of EACH author of EACH paper(s);
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 satisfies;
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; title,
publication date; name of journal, conference, or book in which
article appeared; name of editors, if applicable, of the journal or
edited book; publisher name; publisher city; page numbers, if
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
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), GI (genetic
improvement), GE (grammatical evolution), GEP (gene expression
programming), DE (differential evolution), etc.
11. The date of publication of each paper. If the date of publication
is not on or before the deadline for submission, but instead, the
paper has been unconditionally accepted for publication and is
"in press" by the deadline for this competition, the entry must
include a copy of the documentation establishing that the paper
meets the "in press" requirement.
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. Your publisher
might require that you not make available the post-publication version
of the paper, in which case you should provide a link to the final
version you submitted, prior to its final formatting by the publisher.
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). Keep in mind that
the objective is to guarantee a permanent record of the entries
and to make it easy for anyone to locate your material.
Generally, only one paper should be submitted. More than one paper
should be submitted only if no single paper fully describes the
specific result or method. Note that this competition involves
specific results published in the past year, and it NOT an evaluation
of the author's entire body of work over period of years. Note that
this is a competition involving a result that satisfies the criteria
for being "human-competitive" as defined herein.
The judging committee will review all entries and identify a short
list of finalists. Each finalist entry must either be presented in
person at GECCO in a 10-minute presentation, or if not to be presented
in person, be presented in a 10-minute video submitted in advance for
consideration of the judges and eventual posting for the public.
Finalists will be notified by an e-mail to the corresponding author.
Please acknowledge receipt of that message, so the judges know that
you received your notice.
Finalists must then either 1) submit a 10-minute video for viewing by
the judging committee, showing in the Humies session, and later,
posted for the public, submitted by Friday, June 30, 2023 to goodman
at msu dot edu, as either the video file or a link for downloading the
file (NOT a YouTube), or 2) if presenting in person, submit the slides
to be used for the presentation to goodman at msu dot edu no later
than Friday, June 30, 2023. The winners will be announced at the
conference. Submission of a video constitutes permission to post the
video on the websites of Human-Competitive.org, GECCO, and YouTube.
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. The 10-minute videos or slides will be viewed by the
judging committee. Any video presentations will be opened to all
conference attendees at the time of the Humies session at GECCO.
The video or in-person 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."
In this 10-minute presentation to the judges, a description of the
work itself is decidedly secondary. By the time of your presentation,
or viewing of your video, the judges will be familiar with the
paper(s). Thus, the focus of the presentation is on reasons why the
work being presented should win a prize, not primarily an explanation or
presentation of the work itself.
After viewing the videos and seeing any live presentations,
the judges will meet to consider each finalist's entry and
decide on the winners.
The presenting author for each entry must register for the GECCO conference.
Judges will recuse themselves if they are closely associated with a
finalist (e.g., a current academic advisor, current collaborator,
co-author with the finalist of related work).
See the latest information at http://www.human-competitive.org/
Prof. W. B. Langdon
Department of Computer Science
University College London
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
GI @ ICSE 2023 http://geneticimprovementofsoftware.com/
GP EM http://www.springer.com/10710
A Field Guide to Genetic Programming
GP Bibliography http://gpbib.cs.ucl.ac.uk/
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