The strong roots of this TC are in the SMC ’97
conference that was held in Orlando. It was actually the very first
SMC conference where I have attended. I was full of enthusiasm and met
a few interesting colleagues during the four conference days: Prof.
Hugh VanLandingham, Prof. Mark Embrechts, and Prof. Akimoto Kamiya.
On one afternoon, Prof. Krishna Pattipati (Vice President, Technical
Activities, SMCS) organized an open meeting for people who were interested
in technical activities and possible technical committees within the
SMCS. In that fruitful meeting, I found out that Hugh and I shared considerable
interests in the broad field of Industrial Applications—particularly
the use of soft computing in industrial applications.
After the “Pattipati meeting”, we established
the Industrial Applications TC (IATC) in the beginning of 1998; Hugh
was the Founding Chair and I was a member. Later on, Mark and Akimoto
joined our TC, and also Prof. Yasuhiko Dote. We had a small TC with
an international group of members—but what could we do together?
We all were interested in establishing and running
a new workshop series “Soft Computing in Industrial Applications”
(SMCia). That was, indeed, the initial motivation for our collaboration.
And now, after four successful SMCia workshops, we are establishing
a series of sister workshops “Adaptive and Learning Systems”
(SMCals). It has never been a problem to find devoted organizers for
the SMCia meetings (SMCia/99 in Finland, SMCia/01 in Virginia, SMCia/03
in New York, SMCia/05 in Finland, SMCia/07 in Germany, and SMCia/09
possibly in Japan).
Over the past six years, the IATC has also been developing
and promoting the new concept “Fusion of Soft Computing and Hard
Computing”. This term was invented in 1998 (SMC ’98 in La
Jolla), the first review paper on the topic was presented in 1999 (SMC
’99 in Tokyo), and in 2002 a special issue on “Fusion of
Soft Computing and Hard Computing in Industrial Applications”
was published in the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS—PART
C: APPLICATIONS AND REVIEWS. Moreover, several invited sessions, panel
discussions, and tutorials were organized for SMC-sponsored meetings
in Finland, Japan, and the United States.
The unusually broad topic of this TC is a great opportunity,
because we can direct the emphasis of our technical activities within
the vast area of Industrial Applications. We are just starting new activities
related to the fresh field of Artificial Immune Systems and Their
Applications. Presently, the IATC has 10 members from Finland (2),
Germany (1), Japan (2), UK (1), and USA (4).
We are proud to be members of the IATC and the multi-disciplinary