Warm weather, kind people, mesmerising heritage: DSRS Research Group is in Andalusia, Spain, a pay back visit to where our founder was born

DSRS group is on the move again, since our last participation to DMRS workshop recently, we prepared for another visit to Spain in its most beautiful south coast and ancient city Granada. We started our trip with a convenient 3 hours flight from Bristol to Malaga following another trip from Malaga to Granada. We didn’t just trespass Malaga, but had some time to enjoy the sun and local cuisine, e.g. paella and fried fish, in “Costa del Sol“.

We firstly visited the University of Granada, where Professor Francisco Herrera – director of the DASCI Andalusian Institute for Data Science and Computational Intelligence – and his team warmly welcomed us. It is noteworthy that Prof. Herrera, a worldwide renowned expert in Data Science, AI and Fuzzy Decision Making research, has been collaborating and publishing research results with DSRS’s Ivan Palomares, during his PhD studies on Large Group Decision Making and Consensus Processes a few years ago. After networking with our host, we participated in a Seminar on Decision Making and Recommender Systems (yes, almost namesake with our group name!) organised by the host institution, with the following speakers and talks:

  • Ivan Palomares: Decision Support and Recommender Systems Lab in Bristol: our projects
  • Ercan Ezin: Intro to recommender systems and context-aware recommendation in Smart Cities
  • James Neve: Reciprocal User-to-User Recommender Systems
  • Xiaoli Tian: Phd project -The consensus models under bounded rationality with hybrid information. Application in venture capital
  • Tong Wu: Phd project – Interval type -2 fuzzy large scale group decision  making models and their applications on social  commerce recommendation
  • Cristina Zuheros (Tentative): Phd project – Computing with Words in large Scale group decision making and  Social Networks.

Some pictures of the seminar (courtesy of DaSCI twitter account):

It was great to see experts and former colleagues in these areas of research, such as Javier Cabrerizo, Juan Antonio Morente-Molinera, Rosana Montes, etc.

Left to right: Binyamin Yusoff, James neve, Ivan Palomares, Francisco Herrera (UGR), Ercan Ezin and Javier Cabrerizo (UGR)

It was an intense yet very exciting day of work abroad, so we had to end it with a majestic dinner in the Albayzin heritage area, in front of the Alhambra! (for those interested, the restaurant is called Carmen El Agua: thanks Dr Montes for the recommendation!)

Group dinner in front of the Alhambra Palace

On Tuesday 18th December, we headed to the neighbouring province and city of Jaén (Ivan’s birthplace province), where we visited Dr Macarena Espinilla, former colleague of Ivan during their PhD studies. Dr Espinilla has founded and currently leads in Jaén the Ambient Intelligent Lab (UJAMI), with researchers and collaborations with universities and organisations across Europe. We had a good glimpse of the smart home Lab and the research activities and challenges being currently investigated by UJAMI team members. We look forward for a future collaboration between UJAMI-DSRS!

Delightful re-encounter between old friends 🙂 meeting with Dr Macarena Espinilla, leader of the Ambient Intelligence Lab, at the University of Jaén


After the series of activities in Granada, we still had some time towards the end of the week to enjoy the Andalusian culture and scenery: attending a live flamenco show in a gipsy cave, touring around the city for tapas and local specialities in the St Agustin’s Market, hiking in the impressive “Cahorros de Monachil” and, of course, paying a half day visit to the Alhambra! It was a great wrap-up of 2018 for us in DSRS, and a nice prelude to Christmas break celebrations.

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