HeuristicLab Command Line Interface

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Kathrin Kefer

Apr 15, 2021, 1:58:01 AM4/15/21
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Is there any possibility to run HeuristicLab totally without the GUI using a Command Line Interface? I developed a Plugin myself and it would be awesome if i could start a pre configured experiment or training just using the command line and without the GUI overhead (e.g. for trainings in the Azure cloud, where I would need a virtual machine else).

Thanks and best regards, 

Kathrin Kefer

Kommenda Michael

Apr 16, 2021, 9:12:31 AM4/16/21
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Dear Kathrin,


what you want is currently not possible from within HeuristicLab. The only command line arguments that are supported are starting an applications from Heuristiclab, such as the Optimizer.


However, you could write your own C# program that performs that actions you need and which uses HeuristicLab just as a library instead of a program. Therefore, you need to load all necessary plugins manually and then perform your actions. The same use case is implemented in the unit tests of HeuristicLab where algorithms are loaded from a file and executed.


For example the GeneticAlgorithmTest [0] loads a GA from a file, executes the algorithm and compares the results with the expected ones. A prerequisite is that all necessary plugins are loaded and this functionality is provided by the PluginLoader class[1].


I hope this helps and you can programmatically use HeuristicLab.


All the best,



[0] https://svn.heuristiclab.com/svn/core/trunk/HeuristicLab.Tests/HeuristicLab-3.3/GeneticAlgorithmTest.cs

[1] https://svn.heuristiclab.com/svn/core/trunk/HeuristicLab.Tests/HeuristicLab-3.3/PluginLoader.cs

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Gabriel Kronberger

Apr 16, 2021, 11:00:29 AM4/16/21
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Hi Kathrin,

adding to Michaels answer I would like to point out that of course you could also always just reference the HL .dll files that you need directly within your command line program.
Best, Gabriel

dm vieau

Apr 16, 2021, 12:13:15 PM4/16/21
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Hello all,

I know I may be 'totally off base' but I am curious IF anyone does 'Robotic Process Automation' (AKA "RPA") with something like (the excellent) 'free' RPA software such as Sikuli-X (with HeuristicLab for example)?. I've used Sikuli-X for automated lab test collection purposes quite successfully, in particular, IF you are attempting to integrate 'disparate systems (or just want to automate processing seamlessly in a single environment). Since Sikuli-X is based on Python there are 'a lot' of customization paths as well (although 'usually' Sikuli-X has everything already implemented for 'most cases'). 

Sikuli-X is pretty mature and in the scheme of things very sophisticated ... Soooo ... basically anything a human can do in Heuristiclab, Sikuli-X can 'automate' (and do it very fast - but not as fast as doing it with C# of course - but much easier, for sure ...). Sikuli-X uses OpenCV (open computer vision) so it can find 'anything' on the screen eg: find the pull-down menu and make the appropriate selection etc. even if a window is obscuring the window 'of interest' and innumerable other 'cool things'). With Python extension, it is not a far stretch to even turn Sikuli-X into a more advanced "Cognitive Robotic Process Automation" system where it can leverage AI/ML. 

Anyway, just a thought. Like I said I may be totally 'off base' in this context, but perhaps 'someone' may find Sikuli-X useful for their needs ...

Dean Vieau
Agilon OMAI L.L.C.

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