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++:

Introduction à l'Intelligence Artificielle

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]