Potential postgraduate students looking for a supervisor can read through my general research interests as well as completed and current projects listed below. If you find my area of research interesting, then you are welcome to contact me to discuss ideas and possible project topics. I am also open to discussing other topics of interest to you in the broad area of computational intelligence.

In the Department of Decision Sciences at UNISA, we offer MSc and PhD degrees in Operations Research. You are welcome to contact me via email for more information on postgraduate studies in our department. I can also supervise postgraduate degrees in Computer Science under the School of Computing, UNISA.

General research interests

My main research interest is in fitness landscape analysis and the link to metaheuristic performance. What does this mean? Population-based metaheuristics, such as evolutionary algorithms and particle swarm optimisation algorithms have been successful in solving complex optimisation problems, but it is well known that they sometimes fail. Although the algorithms are generally easy to understand, the resulting behaviour is largely unpredictable, due to not only the stochastic nature of the algorithms, but also due to the dynamic interactions between solutions during the search process. Fitness landscapes are a way of thinking about optimisation problems and can be used to analyse the characteristics of a problem. If we know more about the kinds of problems that particular algorithms fail to solve, then we can hopefully choose appropriate algorithms and also design better algorithms to solve those hard problems.

Completed supervision

  • Phlippie Bosman (co-supervisor with Prof Andries Engelbrecht), MSc in CS (UP), The Influence of Fitness Landscape Characteristics on the Search Behaviour of Particle Swarm Optimisers (with distinction), 2019.
  • Odirile Moja, MIT (UP), Ethics and Benefits of Automated Decision Making for Optimal Retirement Portfolio Risk Matching in South Africa (with distinction), 2018.
  • Christina Kroeze, MSc in CS (UP), Touch Biometrics for Unobtrusive Continuous Authentication on Smartphones (with distinction), 2015.
  • Darren Pillay, MIT (UP), The Development of an Expert System Knowledge Base for the Calibration of Stand-Alone Engine Control Units, 2015.
  • Jhani de Bruin (with Prof Jan Eloff as co-supervisor), MSc in CS (UP), Automated Usability Analysis and Visualisation of Eye Tracking Data (with distinction), 2014.
  • Isaac Molekwa, Hons in OR (UNISA), An Investigation into different constraint handling techniques on the 0-1 knapsack problem, 2020..
  • Tobias Bester (co-supervisor with Dr C.W. Cleghorn), BSc (Hons) in CS at UP, A Benchmark Suite of Regression Problems to Evaluate Neural Networks.
  • Wilna Pelser, Hons in OR (UNISA), Optimisation of the Vertical Alignment of Steel Pipelines using Metaheuristic Techniques (with distinction), 2019.
  • Angelo Constantinou, Hons in OR (UNISA), Recommendations for Movies using Neural Networks for Commercial Online Streaming (with distinction), 2019.
  • Werner Mostert, Hons in CS (UP), Feature Selection Fitness Landscape Analysis, 2016.
  • Willem van Aardt (co-supervisor with Anna Bosman), Hons in CS (UP), Characterising Neutrality in Neural Network Error Landscapes, 2016.
  • Eduan Bekker (with Anna Rakitianskaia as co-supervisor), Hons in CS (UP) , Analysis of Error Landscapes in Multi-layered Neural Networks for Classification, 2015.
  • Richard O'Brien (with Anna Rakitianskaia as co-supervisor), Hons in CS (UP), Investigating the Link Between Exploratory Landscape Analysis and Backpropagation Performance, 2015.
  • Stuart Reid, Hons in CS (UP), Currency Carry Trade Portfolio Optimization (with distinction), 2013.
  • Christien Kroeze, Hons in CS (UP), Matching Shapes Using a Genetic Algorithm with Hill Climbing (with distinction), 2011.
  • Jhani de Bruin, Hons in CS (UP), An Investigation into Renko Charts for Genetic Algorithm Evolved Forex Traders (with distinction), 2010.

Current supervision

  • Bryce Senekal, PhD in OR (UNISA), Analysis of search spaces for automated memetic algorithm configuration.
  • Tshidiso Mazibuko, MSc in OR (UNISA), Application of machine learning in the chemical process industry.
  • Isaac Molekwa (with Prof Paul Potgieter as co-supervisor), MSc in OR (UNISA), A study of constraint handling approaches on the Travelling Thief Problem.
  • Elizabeth Booi (with Dr MT MaseTshaba as co-supervisor), MSc in OR (UNISA), Predicting student academic performance using first year expectations and experience.
  • Werner Mostert (co-supervisor with Prof Andries Engelbrecht), MSc in CS (SUN), Insights into the feature selection problem through landscape analysis.
  • Dylan Solms (co-supervisor with Prof Paul Potgieter), MSc in OR (UNISA), Exploring the role of Markov Decision processes and its structural results in the control of urban traffic scenarios.
  • Azwidohwi Nange (co-supervisor with Prof Chris Swanepoel), MSc in OR (UNISA), An investigation into methods of hyperparameter tuning for machine learning.
  • Jarrod Moses (co-supervisor with Dr Anna Bosman), MIT (UP), Fitness landscape analysis of generative adversarial networks.
  • Mamello Kaphwiyo, Hons in OR (UNISA), Benefits of CI technologies in the manufacturing sector.
  • Letshabo Maoba, Hons in OR (UNISA), Case studies of exploratory data analysis.
  • Tebatso Moshabi, Hons in OR (UNISA), Intelligent call routing in call centres.
  • Anele Ngcongo, Hons in OR (UNISA), Forecasting air traffic movements.
  • Matthew Dixon (co-supervisor with Dr Anna Bosman), Hons in CS (UP), Empirical Investigation into Hybrid Approaches to Loss Functions for Neural Networks.