IEEE Computational Intelligence Society History

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The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) focuses on computational and theoretical aspects of mimicking nature for problem solving. CIS core technologies include neural, fuzzy, and evolutionary computation, as well as hybrid intelligent systems that contain these and other related paradigms. The Society has its own history of transformation from the Neural Network Council to the Neural Network Society to the current CIS. While many of the core technologies that define the CIS were developed early in the history of computing, their application has expanded tremendously over the last two decades to include intelligent computer games, biomedical applications, data-mining, and so forth and represents its own exciting and growing field of engineering.


The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS) was formed to bring together biologically-inspired computational paradigms for problem solving. These methods include artificial neural networks (or more simply stated as neural networks), fuzzy systems, evolutionary computation, and hybrid intelligent systems that contain these and other related paradigms. Each of these approaches has their own interesting history of development, as does the IEEE CIS, and computational intelligence represents a rapidly growing segment of the IEEE. This is due to the broad application areas of these methods including time-series prediction, transportation routing optimization, data communication and sensor network placement and dynamic analysis, signal processing, robotics, power systems, and games. This account provides a brief history of the IEEE CIS and these approaches.


Neural Networks Committee

In the 1980s, a group of researchers interested in both biological and artificial neural networks formed to promote the interests of the field and devise a plan for its further development. A result of this effort was the IEEE International Conference on Neural Networks held in 1987 in San Diego, California. This meeting helped give rise to both the IEEE Neural Networks Council (IEEE NNC) and the International Neural Networks Society (INNS).

IEEE Neural Networks Council

On November 17, 1989, the IEEE NNC was formed with representatives from 12 IEEE societies including the Circuits and Systems Society, Communications Society, Control Systems Society, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Industrial Electronics Society, Industry Applications Society, Information Theory Society, Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, Oceanic Engineering Society, Robotics and Automation Society, Signal Processing Society, and the System, Man, and Cybernetics Society. The IEEE NNC helped organized the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence in Orlando, Florida in 1994. This was the first international meeting where researchers in neural networks, fuzzy systems, and evolutionary computation met together in one location. This meeting helped generate a great deal of synergy between these previously different sectors of machine learning.

IEEE Neural Networks Society

On November 21, 2001, the IEEE NNC became the IEEE Neural Networks Society (IEEE NNS) via TAB endorsement. This new society was formally approved by the IEEE Board of Directors in February of 2002. Given the organization had a new name a new logo was developed.

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society

In November of 2003, a change of name from the IEEE NNS to the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS) was approved, to reflect the inclusion of fuzzy systems and evolutionary computation paradigms along with neural networks. This name change was formally approved by the IEEE Board of Directors in February of 2004 and continues to the present. Another logo was developed to reflect this change. As of July, 2009, the IEEE CIS has over 6,000 members including 155 Fellows and 35 Life Fellows. The IEEE CIS maintains 62 chapters worldwide and has a very active development of conferences and publications, including several IEEE Transactions with top-tier impact factors, and a book series via Wiley-IEEE Press.


The IEEE CIS is a young IEEE society with a lengthy history, not only in terms of the path taken to develop from a council to a society, but the various bio-inspired technologies that make up the society. As the application of these technologies can be quite broad, members of the IEEE CIS are excited about future prospects for this society.

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Link to IEEE Computational Intelligence Society