Report on ICVNS 2019

Conference web site:

The purpose of this conference is to provide a stimulating environment in which researchers and practitioners coming from various scientific fields can share and discuss their knowledge, expertise and ideas related to the Variable Neighborhood Search (VNS) Metaheuristic and its applications. The conference was co-organized by the EURO Working Group on Metaheuristics (EWG EU/ME) and, the Laboratory of Information Systems, Intelligent Systems and Mathematical Modeling (SI2M) of the National Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (INSEA). This year, it was held in Rabat, Morocco, during October 3-5, 2019. The conference was chaired by Prof. Pierre Hansen (Honorary Chair from GERAD and HEC Montreal, Canada), Prof. Nenad Mladenović, (General Chair from Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE), and Prof. Rachid Benmansour, (Conference Chair from INSEA, Morocco).

Around 30 papers were presented in 8 sessions. The meeting was attended by 50 participants from 13 different countries (Algeria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, UAE). Three plenary talks were given by eminent researchers in the fields of optimization and heuristics. Prof. Martine Labbé, from Université Libre de Bruxelles, opened the conference by addressing new developments in the Bilevel optimisation and pricing problems. Prof. Said Salhi, from Kent Business School – University of Kent, presented the power of Hybridization and Deep Learning in the case of VNS & LNS for a class of routing problems. Finally, Eduardo G. Pardo, a Senior Spanish researcher in the heuristic and metaheuristic field, from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos – Madrid, presented a talk entitled “Parallelization of Variable Neighborhood Search: the present and future paradigm”.

The abstracts of the presented papers were published in the book of abstracts, while the texts of the accepted full papers will shortly appear by Springer as a post-proceedings volume in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series. During each edition of ICVNS, social events are organized. This year a dinner was organized in a Floating restaurant (Le Dhow-Rabat) in honor of the participants. After the closing session of the conference, an excursion was organized to visit the monuments of the city (The Chellah, Hassan Tower, Oudayas, Medina). The same evening, a Gala dinner with traditional Moroccan dishes was organized in the city of Harhoura.