Mission statement

The research unit KERMIT (Knowledge-based Systems) adopts a holistic view on mathematical and computational modelling, acknowledging the needs of our modern information society with a particular focus on the applied biological sciences. It strives to keep a unique balance between theoretical developments and practical applications, a strategy that has proven particularly successful, regarding the output, visibility and recognition of the team. It plays a pioneering role by promoting existing as well as developing new methods in a broad range of disciplines shown below.

Methodological expertise

KERMIT started out in 2000 with two men and a dog as a team in fuzzy set theory and preference modelling, and quickly expanded into the fields of artificial/computational intelligence and operations research. Over the years, it has evolved into a holistic team covering the entire data-to-decision pipeline. It provides methodological expertise in the following areas:

  • image processing and computer vision (e.g. mathematical morphology, filters)
  • knowledge-based systems (e.g. bioportals, ontologies)
  • dynamical modelling (e.g. differential equations, cellular automata, individual-based models)
  • data science and machine learning (e.g. time series prediction, structured prediction, deep learning, big data)
  • management of imprecision and uncertainty (e.g. probability, possibility and fuzzy set theory; stochastic modelling, theory of copulas)
  • optimization and operations research (e.g. preference modelling, multi-criteria decision making)


Live defense of Yexing Dan in Wuhan, a sign of hope amid COVID-19 pandemic

On November 26, 2020, Yexing Dan successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis "On the construction of four types of associative aggregation operators on bounded lattices" at Wuhan University, China. He was awarded the title of Doctor of Computational Mathematics. He was jointly supervised by Bao Qing Hu and Bernard De Baets. Yexing spent one year at KERMIT supported by the China Scholarship Council. The defense took place in Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, live and without face masks!

PhD Yexing Dan PhD Yexing Dan PhD Yexing Dan

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Most recent journal publications
Biblio logo(604) Reversibility of non-saturated linear cellular automata on finite triangular grids
B. Wolnik, A. Augustynowicz, M. Dziemiańczuk and B. De Baets
(2021) CHAOS. 31, 013136.
Biblio logo(603) Cytometric fingerprints of gut microbiota predict Crohn's disease state
P. Rubbens, R. Props, F.-M. Kerckhof, N. Boon and W. Waegeman
(2021) THE ISME JOURNAL. 15, 354-358.
Biblio logo(602) Predicting bacteriophage hosts based on sequences of annotated receptor-binding proteins
D. Boeckaerts, M. Stock, B. Criel, H. Gerstmans, B. De Baets and Y. Briers
(2021) SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 11, 1467.
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