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

  • Tshidiso Mazibuko, MSc in OR (UNISA), Performance improvements in machine learning approaches for fault detection and soft sensing in the process industry (with distinction), 2022.
  • Jarrod Moses (co-supervisor with Dr Anna Bosman), MIT (UP), Fitness landscape analysis of generative adversarial networks (with distinction), 2021.
  • 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.
  • Isobel Bosman (co-supervisor with Dr Anna Bosman), Hons in CS (UP), Travelling Down the Wide and Narrow Valleys of Neural Network Error Landscapes, 2023.
  • Mokgadi Seshoka (with Nolwazi Nkomo as co-supervisor), BSc (Hons), UNISA, Skills Required in Higher Education to Prepare Graduates for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Workforce, 2023.
  • Alex Nkosi, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Investigating metaheuristic methods to improve order picking travelling distance in a warehouse, 2023
  • Winneth Khorommbi, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Application of Machine Learning for Predicting Subscriber Churn in the Telecommunication Industry, 2023
  • Bashkaran Vandeyar, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Photovoltaic Energy Production Prediction Using Deep Learning and Regression Methods , 2022.
  • Crystaline Dliwayo, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Predicting the use of mobile money or other financial services using machine learning, 2022.
  • Anele Ngcongo, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Air Traffic Forecasting using Neural Networks, 2021.
  • Mamello Kaphwiyo, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Financial Statement Fraud detection of JSE Listed Companies using Clustering Techniques, 2021.
  • Tebatso Moshabi, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Intelligent Caller-Agent Routing in Inbound Contact Centres, 2021.
  • Letshabo Maoba, BSc (Hons), UNISA, Exploratory Data Analysis Methods and Tools: Case Study Investigation, 2021.
  • Matthew Dixon (co-supervisor with Dr Anna Bosman), Hons in CS (UP), Empirical Investigation into Hybrid Approaches to Loss Functions for Neural Networks, 2021.
  • 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, 2020.
  • 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

  • Evans Riba (with Dr Edinah Mudimu as co-supervisor), PhD in OR (UNISA), An investigation into univariate time series forecasting using seasonal specialists and meta-learning.
  • Werner Mostert (co-supervisor with Prof Andries Engelbrecht), PhD in CS (SUN), Landscape Aware Algorithm Selection for Feature Selection.
  • Elizabeth Booi (with Dr MT MaseTshaba as co-supervisor), MSc in OR (UNISA), Predicting student academic performance using first year expectations and experience.
  • Azwidohwi Nange (co-supervisor with Prof Chris Swanepoel), MSc in OR (UNISA), An investigation into methods of hyperparameter tuning for machine learning based on two case studies
  • Ruban Pillay, MSc in OR (UNISA), Automated algorithm selection for clustering.
  • Sibusiso Mtiyane (with Prof Mardi Jankowitz as co-supervisor), MSc in OR (UNISA), Exploring the accuracy-explainability trade-off on credit scoring classifiers.