For the past decades nature-inspired search and optimisation heuristics have been used for solving practical problems across a variety of problem domains, including all sorts of engineering problems, economics, finance, design, and art generation. Alongside the development of applications, the theoretical understanding of these search and optimisation heuristics has been improving substantially throughout the years, allowing us to have a better understanding of what these algorithms can and cannot do in terms of solution quality and algorithm runtime.
Although much improvement has been made from the theoretical perspective, it is fair to say that there is a large gap between the theoretical foundations and practical applications. It is all fair to say that theory and practice reinforce each other. Theory is largely driven by the need of having a better understanding of problems and challenges observed in practice. Likewise, practical applications can benefit from insights and guidelines derived from theoretical work.
The workshop seeks to bring together researchers interested in the debate on how to narrow the gap between theory and practice. Our hope is that such a debate will help to improve the current state of Nature-inspired search and optimisation. We welcome anyone to participate and encourage the submission of an extended abstract (at most 4 pages) with position statements of this topic.