IEEE Computational Intelligence Society History



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.

Formation of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society

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 23rd 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 more than 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.

Executives of the Neural Network Committee

  • 1987 H. Troy Nagle (Chair)
  • 1988 Robert J. Marks (Chair pro tem)
  • 1989 Robert J. Marks (Chair)

Presidents of the Neural Networks Council (NNC)

  • 1990 Robert J. Marks
  • 1991 Robert J. Marks
  • 1992 Russell Eberhart
  • 1993 Russell Eberhart
  • 1994 Patrick Simpson
  • 1995 Walter Karplus (deceased)
  • 1996 Walter Karplus (deceased)
  • 1997 Jim Bezdek
  • 1998 Jim Bezdek
  • 1999 Cliff Lau
  • 2000 Cliff Lau
  • 2001 Enrique H. Ruspini

Presidents of the Neural Networks Society (NNS)

  • 2002 Piero P. Bonissone
  • 2003 Evangelia Micheli-Tzanakou (deceased)

Presidents of the Computational Intelligence Society (CIS)

  • 2004 Jacek M. Zurada
  • 2005 Jacek M. Zurada
  • 2006 Vincenzo Piuri
  • 2007 Vincenzo Piuri
  • 2008 David B. Fogel
  • 2009 David B. Fogel
  • 2010 Gary Yen
  • 2011 Gary Yen
  • 2012 Marios Polycarpou
  • 2013 Marios Polycarpou
  • 2014 Xin Yao
  • 2015 Xin Yao
  • 2016 Pablo Estévez
  • 2017 Pablo Estévez
  • 2018 Nikhil R. Pal
  • 2019 Nikhil R. Pal

Oral History Project: The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society's awards recognize excellent achievements and outstanding volunteers in the field. Among these awards, the Pioneer Award is perhaps the most coveted society-level award. To preserve some of the historical memories of these pioneers, we have created the Oral History Project, consisting of a set of interviews with some of these pioneers. By clicking on this link, you will be able find 30 interviews, which are part of this ongoing project.

Index to Oral History Videos by Topic:

  • Neural Networks
    • Amari, Shun'ichi
    • Carpenter, Gail
    • Caudell, Thomas
    • Fukushima, Kunihiko
    • Grossberg, Steven
    • Kohonen, Teuvo
    • Lendaris, George
    • Marks, Robert
    • Oja, Erkki
    • Principe, Jose
    • Simpson, Patrick
    • Wang, Jun
    • Widrow, Bernard
    • Wunsch, Donald
    • Zimmermann, Hans G.
  • Fuzzy Sets
    • Bezdek, Jim
    • Bonissone, Piero
    • Bouchon-Meunier, Bernadette
    • Kacprzyk, Janusz
    • Keller, James
    • Koczy, Laszlo
    • Kosko, Bart
    • Mendel, Jerry
    • Montero, Javier
    • Pal, Nikhil
    • Perfilieva, Irina
    • Ruspini, Enrique
    • Yager, Ronald
    • Zadeh, Lotfi and Walter Freeman
    • Zimmerman, Hans J.
  • Evolutionary Computation
    • Altenberg, Lee
    • Deb, Kalyanmoy
    • Eberhart, Russell(2)
    • Fogel, David(2)
    • Ikegami, Takashi
    • Lucas, Simon


External links

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society official website