Homepage of Carola Doerr (formerly Winzen)

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Carola Doerr
CNRS Research director (Directrice de recherche)
Sorbonne Université
LIP6, équipe Recherche Opérationnelle
case 169, 4 place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05

Email: Carola [dot] Doerr "at" lip6.fr
Phone: 0033 (0)1 44 27 70 64

Publications: dblp entry, Google scholar profile, full publication record

Selected recent activities and news

Selected older news

Research interests

  • Mathematical and empirical aspects of iterative optimization heuristics (aka randomized search algorithms) such as local search algorithms, evolutionary algorithms, and other black-box optimization techniques
    At the moment, I am particularly interested in online algorithm configuration and different aspects of benchmarking.
  • Black-box complexity, aka randomized query complexity
  • Randomized and quasi-randomized algorithms in general
  • Geometric discrepancies, in particular computational aspects of the star discrepancy


A complete list of publications can be found here.
My Google scholar profile and the dblp entry are more or less complete (as far as dblp is complete, note that it does not list some of the works on discrepancies nor some of the book chapters).
For all other data bases, please note that they are usually incomplete because of the change of my family name in 2012.

Teaching and student supervision


Current PostDocs and ATERs:

  • (we are recruiting)

Former PostDocs:

  • Roman Kalkreuth (PostDoc, 06/2023-03/2024, now Assistant Professor at RWTH Aachen).
    Was funded via the HQI project.
  • Koen van der Blom (PostDoc, 09/2022-02/2024).
    Was funded by ANR T-ERC grant VARIATION.)
  • Anja Jankovic (ATER, 09/2021-08/2023, now PostDoc at RWTH Aachen).
    Until 12/2021 Anja was a PhD student in our team.
  • Elena Raponi (05/2021-09/2021, 12/2021-05/2023, now Assistant Professor at LIACS, Leiden University, NL).
    Elena first came to Paris for a jointly supervised internship at FAIR and from 12/2021 she was a PRIME PostDoc fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Alexis Robbes (PostDoc, 11/2021-02/2023, now PostDoc in Toulouse)
    Was funded by DIM-RFSI project Opt4SysBio
  • Martin Krejca (01/2021-08/2022, now Assistant Professor at Ecole Polytechnique)
    From 01/2021-04/2021, Martin was working with us on the DIM RFSI AlgoSelect project. From May 2021 until August 2022, he was a fellow of the Paris Region Fellowship Programme, a Marie Curie COFUND.
  • Hao Wang (01/2020-08/2020, now Assistant professor at LIACS, Leiden University, NL)
    Was funded via the DIM RFSI project AlgoSelect.

Current PhD Students:

Former PhD Students:

  • Co-Advisor of PhD student Furong Ye (10/2017-06/2022, thesis submitted 12/2021).
    Title of his PhD thesis: Benchmarking Discrete Optimization Heuristics: From Building a Sound Experimental Environment to Algorithm Configuration
    PhD student at Leiden University, co-supervised with Thomas Bäck and Hao Wang
    Furong was PostDoc at LIACS until 08/2023, and he is now PostDoc at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
  • Co-Advisor of PhD student Quentin Renau (02/2019-01/2022).
    Title of his PhD thesis: Landscape-Aware Selection of Metaheuristics for the Optimization of Radar Networks
    CIFRE thesis with Thales, co-supervised with Johann Dreo (02/2019-02/2021), Yann Semet (02/2021-01/2022), and Benjamin Doerr.
    Quentin is now PostDoc at Edinburgh Napier University, with Emma Hart
  • Main advisor of PhD student Anja Jankovic (10/2018-12/2021).
    Title of her PhD thesis: Towards Online Landscape-Aware Algorithm Selection in Numerical Black-Box Optimization
    Anja was funded by a scholarship from the school (EDITE).
    After her PhD she was teaching assistant in our team for 2 years and she is now a PostDoc at RWTH Aachen.
  • Co-advisor of PhD student Jing Yang (10/2015-09/2018).
    Title of her PhD thesis: From a Complexity Theory of Evolutionary Computation to Superior Randomized Search Heuristics
    PhD student at Ecole Polytechnique, co-supervised with Benjamin Doerr.
    Moved to an industrial researcher position after the PhD.

Research Engineers:

(Current and Former) Bachelor and Master Students and PhD interns:

  • Advisor of Master student Gianluca Covini (Erasmus student from University of Pavia, Italy, 03/2024-08/2024).
    Title of the project: Enhancing Dynamic Algorithm Configuration via Theory-guided Benchmarks (joint supervision with Nguyen Dang)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Duri Janett (Erasmus student from ETH Zurich, 09/2022-02/2023).
    Title of the project: Design and Analysis of New Variation Operators for Randomized Search Heuristics (joint with Johannes Lengler)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Maria Laura Santoni (Erasmus student from Camerino University, 03/2022-09/2022).
    Title of the project: Black-Box Optimization Benchmarking on Real-World Industrial Applications (joint with Renato de Leone and Elena Raponi)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Navin Pophare (Leiden University, 10/2021-06/2022).
    Title of the project: Analyzing the Anytime Performance of Numerical Black-Box Optimization Heuristics (joint with Diederick Vermetten and Hao Wang)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Alix Zheng (Sorbonne Université, 06/2021-09/2021).
    Title of the project: Automated Algorithm Configuration for Genetic Algorithms (joint with Johann Dreo)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Océane Fourquet (Sorbonne Université, 02/2021-08/2021).
    Title of the project: Monotonic Models for Classification Tasks in Systems Biology (joint with Benno Schwikowski and Martin Krejca)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Huilin Li (Leiden University, 03/2021-05/2022).
    Title of the project: Standardizing Nature-Inspired Optimizers (joint with Thomas Bäck, Anna Kononova, and Diederick Vermetten)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Dominik Schröder (Leiden University, 07/2020-04/2021).
    Title of the project: Dynamic algorithm selection for continuous black-box optimization (joint with Thomas Bäck and Hao Wang)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Amine Aziz-Alaoui (ISAE-SUPAERO, summer 2020).
    Title of the project: Automated Algorithm Design using Exploratory Landscape Analysis (joint with Benjamin Doerr and Johann Dreo)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Andy Rabetafika (ISAE-SUPAERO, summer 2020).
    Title of the project: Machine learning and discrepancy theory (joint with Benjamin Doerr and Johann Dreo)
  • Advisor of Master student Raphaël Cosson (MPRI, Paris Diderot Univ., summer 2019).
    Title of the project: Online Configuration of Heuristic Optimization Algorithms
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Vincent Aubry (MPRI, ENS, summer 2019).
    Title of the project: Query Complexity of Mastermind (joint with Benjamin Doerr)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Anissa Kheireddine (Sorbonne Université, summer 2019).
    Title of the project: Dynamic Algorithm Configuration for Interactive Learning (joint with Thibaut Lust)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Diederick Vermetten (Leiden University, summer 2019).
    Title of the project: Online Selection of CMA-ES Variants (joint with Thomas Bäck)
  • Advisor of student intern Nathan Buskulic (Sorbonne Université, summer 2018).
    Title of the project: Optimal Evolutionary Algorithms with Dynamic Parameters
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Anja Jankovic (Sorbonne Université, summer 2018).
    Title of the project: Randomness in Scheduling (joint with Fanny Pascual and Nguyễn Kim Thắng)
  • Advisor of Master student Eduardo Carvalho Pinto (MPRI, Ecole Polytechnique, summer 2017).
    Title of the project: Self-Adjusting Parameter Choices for Discrete Black-Box Optimization
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Jing Yang (Ecole Polytechnique, summer 2015).
    Title of the project: Tight Bounds for the Unbiased Black-Box Complexity of OneMax (joint with Benjamin Doerr)
  • Co-Advisor of Master student Axel de Perthuis de Laillevault (Ecole Polytechnique, summer 2014).
    Title of the project: Evolutionary Algorithms with Iterated Initial Sampling (joint with Benjamin Doerr)
  • Co-Advisor of the Master student Franziska Ebel (MPI, defended spring 2013).
    Title of the thesis: Lessons from the Black-Box: Fast Crossover-Based Genetic Algorithms (joint with Benjamin Doerr)
  • Advisor of PhD student intern G. Ramakrishna (MPI, summer 2012).
    Title of the project: Computing Minimum Cycle Bases in Graphs of Bounded Treewidth
  • Advisor of Master student Vijay Ingalalli (MPI, defended autumn 2011).
    Title of the thesis: Evolutionary Algorithms to Compute Lower Bounds for the Star Discrepancy
  • Co-Advisor of student intern Jong-Hyun Lee (MPI, winter 2011/12).
    Title of the project: Playing Mastermind with Constant Size Memory (joint with Benjamin Doerr and Reto Spöhel)

Administrative tasks, academic activities and services to the community

Awards and Distinctions

Selected Projects and Funding

  • EU funded
    • ERC Consolidator Grant dynaBBO: Dynamic Selection and Configuration of Black-box Optimization Algorithms
      (2024-2029, PI, 1,999,975 euros)
    • COST action 22137 Randomised Optimisation Algorithms Research Network (ROAR-NET)
      (2023-2027, working group leader "Algorithms and Complexity", member of management committee)
    • COST action 15140 on Improving Applicability of Nature-Inspired Optimisation by Joining Theory and Practice (ImAppNIO)
      (2016-2020, vice chair, management committee, and member of STSM and ITC grants selection committee)
  • Bi-national projects
    • 2024-2025: Multi-objective Approaches for Generating Low-Discrepancy Point Sets (MOLD), joint with Kathrin Klamroth from University of Wuppertal, Germany.
      (French PI, funding for mutual research visits)
      Funded by PROCOPE call of Campus France
    • 2023-2024: DISCREPANCY: Algorithms and Complexity for Discrepancy Problems, joint with Luís Paquete from University of Coimbra, Portugal.
      (French PI, funding for mutual research visits)
      Funded by PESSOA call of Campus France
    • 2023-2024: Automated Configuration, Selection, and Design of Iterative Optimization Heuristics, joint with Tome Eftimov from JSI, Slovenia.
      (French PI, funding for mutual research visits)
      Funded by PROTEUS call of Campus France
    • 2023: Self-Adjusting Algorithms for High-dimensional Black-box Optimization, joint with Aneta Neumann from The University of Adelaide, Australia.
      (French PI, 15k AUSD funding for mutual research visits)
      Funded by CNRS-Adelaide Mobility Scheme
    • 2022-23: Complexity Reduction Techniques for Surrogate-based Optimization of Composite Structures, joint with Fabian Duddeck from TU Munich, Germany.
      (French PI, funding for mutual research visits)
      Funded by BayFrance (Franco-Bavarian University cooperation center)
    • 2020-2022: International Emerging Action (IAE PRC CNRS/RFBR) project, joint with Benjamin Doerr, for collaboration with Arina Buzdalova and Maxim Buzdalov from ITMO University, Russia on Theoretical Foundation of Dynamic Parameter Selection for Randomized Optimization Heuristics
      (French PI, funding for mutual research visits and minor expenses)
      Funded by CNRS and RFBR
  • French national projects
    • Project funded by ANR (French National Research Funding Agency ):
      • 2024-2027: ANR-DFG PRCI grant "Bridging Black-Box Optimization and Machine Learning for Dynamic Algorithm Configuration (Opt4DAC)"
        (joint project between the French and German national research funding agencies)
        (French PI, French funding is for 1 PhD thesis, 2 research internships, travels, and small equipment. Similar funding available for the German partner.)
        German PI is Marius Lindauer
      • 2022-2024: ANR T-ERC grant
        (PI, funding for 18 months PostDoc, 1 research internship, travels, and small equipment)
      • 2022-2026: HQI: France Hybrid HPC-QC Initiative
        (member of WP3, task 3.1 Optimization, funding for 24 months PostDoc and minor expenses)
    • Project funded by CNRS Sciences Informatiques:
      • 2023: IOHprofiler
        (PI, funding for a 12 months research engineering position)
      • 2022: Randomized Search Heuristics: From Theory to Practice (RandSearch), joint with Benjamin Doerr
        (PI, funding for research internships, travels, and small equipment)
    • DIM RFSI projects:
      • 2020-2023: Optimization Meets Systems Biology (Opt4SysBio), joint with Benno Schwikowski from Institut Pasteur.
        (PI, funding for 18 months PostDoc position, research internships, and expenses)
      • 2019-2022: Automated Algorithm Selection for Discrete Black-Box Optimization (AlgoSelect)
        (PI, funding for 12 months PostDoc position)
      • 2018-2020: Online Configuration of Heuristic Optimization Algorithms
        (PI, funding for research internships and expenses)
    • PGMO, Fondation Mathématique Jacques Hadamard (FMJH) and/or Labex Mathématique Hadamard (LMH) projects:
      • 2020-22: Understanding and Developing Evolutionary Algorithms via Mathematical Runtime Analyses (member)
      • 2019: Passive Radar Coverage Optimization (member)
      • 2018: Analysis of Evolutionary Algorithms: Beyond Expected Optimization Times (PI)
      • 2017: Self-Adjusting Parameter Choices in Heuristic Optimization (PI)
      • 2016: Parameter Optimization via Drift Analysis (PI)
      • 2015: How Randomness Helps in Scheduling Problems (member)
      • 2014: Towards a Complexity Theory for Black Box Optimization (PI)
  • Projects funded by Alliance Sorbonne Université:
  • Projects funded by the LIP6 laboratory:
    • 2022: Semantic Graph Mining for Black-Box Optimisation
      (co-PI, together with Christophe Marsala)
    • 2019: Interactive multi-objective optimization
      (co-PI, together with Thibaut Lust)
  • Funding for my own PostDoc and PhD positions:

Upcoming, Current, and Recent Visitors


A PDF with my CV is available here. (last updated June 2022)

Short summary of my CV: Page last modified: May 7, 2024.