# Homepage

## About

I am currently Maître de Conférences (~Associate Professor) at the **Université du Littoral de la Côte d'Opale**.

## Contact

- E-mail: alexandre [dot] chotard [at] univ-littoral [dot] fr

## Research Interests

- Optimization: I study optimization algorithms on continuous domains in a black-box context (which implies that derivatives of the objective function are unavailable, and may only be estimated). I am interested in understanding optimization algorithms and their limits, and developing new methods to improve over these limits. I also aim to rigorously prove the convergence (or divergence) of these algorithms, and characterizing their rate of convergence. The optimization algorithms I focus on are Evolution Strategies (ES) which are derivative-free and comparison-based algorithms, with particular focus on CMA-ES (Covariance Matrix Adaptation) and CSA-ES (Cumulative Step-size Adaptation).
- Markov Chain Theory: I use Markov chain theory to establish convergence proofs of optimization algorithms. I aim to develop general tools that facilitate establishing such proofs.
- Statistical Inference in General State Space Models: I am investigating combining Monte-Carlo Methods with optimization techniques in order to improve the exploration of the search space, and adapt the proposal.
- Bayesian Learning: I am interested in the use of a Bayesian framework in machine learning problems to quantify the uncertainty of a prediction.

## Teaching

Structures Avancées en C++:

- TD1, TD1 avec corrigé, TD2, TD2 avec corrigé, TD3, TD4.
- TP1, TP2, TP3, TP4.
- Cours vectors, fstream et pointeurs, Cours classes.
- Fichier numbers.

Introduction à l'Intelligence Artificielle

- TP1, TP2
- cours Arbres de Décision, cours MinMax
- Projet IA : code, sujet partie 1

## Publications

### Journal Papers

Alexandre Chotard, Anne Auger (2017). **Verifiable Conditions for the Irreducibility and Aperiodicity of Markov Chains by Analyzing Underlying Deterministic Models**. Accepted for publication in **Bernoulli**. **[ArXiV]**

Alexandre Chotard, Anne Auger, Nikolaus Hansen (2015). **Markov Chain Analysis of Cumulative Step-size Adaptation on a Linear Constraint Problem**. In **Evolutionary Computation Journal**. **[HAL]**

### Peer-reviewed Conference Articles

Alexandre Chotard, Anne Auger, Nikolaus Hansen (2012). **Cumulative Step-size Adaptation on Linear Functions.** In PPSN XII, Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp.72-81. **[HAL]**

Alexandre Chotard, Anne Auger, Nikolaus Hansen (2014). **Markov Chain Analysis of Evolution Strategies on a Linear Constraint Optimization Problem.** IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC) 2014, pp.159-166. **[HAL]**

Alexandre Chotard, Martin Holena (2014). **A Generalized Markov-Chain Modelling Approach to $(1, \lambda)$-ES Linear Optimization.** In PPSN XIII, Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp.902-911. **[HAL]**

### Technical reports

Alexandre Chotard, Anne Auger, Nikolaus Hansen (2012). **Cumulative Step-size Adaptation on Linear Functions: Technical report.** Includes proofs of the PPSN XII paper, and some developments. **[HAL]**

Alexandre Chotard, Martin Holena (2014). **A Generalized Markov-Chain Modelling Approach to $(1, \lambda)$-ES Linear Optimization: Technical report.** Includes proofs of the PPSN XIII paper. **[HAL]**

### Thesis

Alexandre Chotard (2015). **Markov Chain Analysis of Evolution Strategies**. Work done under the supervision of Nikolaus Hansen and Anne Auger, in team TAO, at Inria Saclay, Université Paris-Sud. **[TEL]****[PDF]**