Under a beautiful Dutch Summer sun, the 26th annual machine learning conference of the Benelux (Benelearn 2017) was held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on June 9 and 10. As always with Benelearn, the focal point was on the machine learning, data mining, and AI community of universities and research institutes located in Benelux member states. However, because of Eindhoven’s favorable location in terms of connectivity (the conference venue being close to both Eindhoven Airport and the vast catchment area of the Ruhrgebiet), the organizers also explicitly invited international contributions. This has led to a substantial expansion of Benelux territory: author affiliations of accepted papers encompassed thirteen countries on three continents.
A total of 98 participants gathered for keynotes by Toon Calders (Data mining, social networks and ethical implications), Jean-Charles Delvenne (Dynamics and mining on large networks), Holger Hoos (The transformative impact of automated algorithm design: ML, AutoML and beyond), and Max Welling (Generalizing Convolutions for Deep Learning). In addition to the standard conference track, this year’s Benelearn edition had three special tracks: one on Complex Networks, one on Deep Learning, and the Industry track. The affinity of the conference host city for industry was additionally highlighted by the conference dinner, which was held among the exhibits in the DAF Museum.
The 27 papers presented in talks during regular sessions were augmented by 21 papers presented in the closing poster session. Particularly noteworthy were the two winners of the Benelearn 2017 Distinguished Paper Awards: the one was bestowed on “Towards Optimizing the Public Library: Indoor Localization in Semi-Open Spaces and Beyond” by Martijn van Otterlo and Martin Warnaar, and the other on “Identifying writing tasks using sequences of keystrokes” by Rianne Conijn and Menno van Zaanen. Congratulations to these authors!
If you want to read more about Benelearn 2017, feel free to visit our website at http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/~benelearn2017/. The conference proceedings can be found at http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/~benelearn2017/proceedings.pdf.