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The course of Heuristics in Minor Programmeren has brought a series of fruitful spinoffs, among which a most recent collaboration between Reitze Jansen (master artificial intelligence) and Yannick Vinkesteijn (master computational science.) In finding 3D paths through meshes, they found that simply reordering the paths in the routing procedure can increase the capacity of the specification by 73%.

"It’s amazing to see something that started as a side project can turn into a real scientific contribution. It's tough, but nice to actively push the boundaries of what we are familiar with." says Yannick Vinkesteijn.

Interdisciplinary collaboration
The findings might have implications for fields as diverse as VLSI, neuromorphic system design, drone routing and piping layouts for ship engine rooms. Heuristics, and applied combinatorial optimization are an apex meeting point for interdisciplinary collaboration between IvI-labs and beyond. "We're currently trying algorithmic protein folding. Great fun, challenging, and nice to work with the biologists." says Yannick.

"On a good note, this conference is really highly regarded, so the students should benefit from such a publication for the rest of their lives. The reviews were also really optimistic, so it provides lots of perspectives for future initiatives. And as IvI is actively promoting collaboration between the labs, we're eagerly looking forward to further this kind of study."

The conference, originally set for Cancun, Mexico, will be held completely online due to Covid-19.