Computational Intelligence Research for Industry and Service Sector Has Started Its Engines in Satakunta

Media Secretary Maarit Gratschew, maarit.gratschew[a]
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences’ (SAMK) research team is the first research team in Finland to challenge extremely difficult scheduling and information personalization problems.

Computational Intelligence (CI) in understanding Complex Information is a Tekes-funded strategic research which has its origins in artificial intelligence (AI). The re-search is an excellent springboard for the Satakunta region to become one of the leaders in the CI field.

The research is carried out by a versatile team of five researchers from SAMK and abroad. The team’s multiscientific line-up is lead by Research Director and Ph.D. Cimmo Nurmi and alongside are Director of Education and Ph.D. Harri Ketamo, Prin-cipal Lecturer Jari Kyngäs and B.Sc. Markus Leinonen, who all work at SAMK and specialize in their own specific areas of the study. The fifth researcher is an incoming foreign visitor from one of the partner universities. The research project has more than ten partner universities all over the world, for example from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Iceland and Germany.

Foundations in the ability to learn

The research focuses on extremely complex and challenging areas. Therefore, understanding theoretical foundations, developing new theoretical models, advanced programming skills, powerful hardware and innovative thinking are more than required. The research is carried out in two tracks. The first track concentrates on complex scheduling problems and the second track examines semantic context in social media.

The research is based on the fact that the core of computational intelligence is, in fact, the ability to learn. CI uses adaptation and population based computing to create software that can, in a certain way, be considered as intelligent. In everyday practice, CI is needed especially in industry, service sector and in the public sector. CI optimization is used for example in staff scheduling, production line scheduling, route scheduling and professional sports league scheduling.

Clear research goals

The objectives of the research can be summed up to a few concrete goals. For example, one of the most important targets for development in Finnish working life is to improve employee rosters, which is one of the research areas of the study.

Equally, scheduling professional sports leagues has become increasingly difficult during the past few years. The research aims to develop intelligent algorithms which would minimize e.g. consecutive home matches and select the best weekdays for games. This requires computational intelligence and efficient software.

The research also studies artificial intelligence in games, which has become popular through online games played by multiple players. This requires computational simulation of human behavior. An up-to-date subject, information overload, is examined as well. An overload of online information has caused a serious risk to working life. The research tackles the problem by creating learning agents to screen out and analyze information to decrease excessive and useless information.

The study also pursues to trigger new research openings regarding the effective exploitation of computational intelligence and its possibilities. The computational capacity, computation tools and advanced mathematical methods are constantly enabling new application areas.

Value for the future

The research is valuable in many ways, as it operates both on a regional, national and also international level. The main goals of the research are to build up a steady theoretical base for solving information personalization problems and to develop a framework for challenging scheduling problems. The research will produce many scientific articles and conference presentations as well as new university partnerships and new CI customers.