First Workshop at the Junior University

During this year I have been a part of the steering group of a project called UniJunior. The aim of the project is to increase the curiosity of children in elementary school towards science and research by organising a series of interdisciplinary workshops in Swedish once per month during the fall and spring of 2021-2022. The project especially targets kids coming from non-academic homes. It is funded by Svenska Kulturfonden and Stiftelsen Brita Maria Renlunds minne.

Last Saturday the project kicked off with a workshop on colors, planned by me. The kids got to learn about what kind of a role color plays in different chemical reactions, how rainbows are formed and how computers represent color. I thought the whole things went really well and—based on the feedback we collected—so did the kids!

I would especially like to thank Martina, Eva and Jim for planning, organising, and running the workshop. I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone in the steering group of UniJunior, including its chair Prof. Gunilla Holm.

Three new publications accepted at CP 2021

I am happy to let you know that I had three papers accepted at CP 2021. More details on them (as well as the full versions) can be found on on the publications page on these webpages.
I would like to thank all my co-authors, especially Pavel and Hannes whose first papers these are. See you at the conference in October!

These papers also mark the beginning of my very own Academy of Finland project! I am looking forward to developing new optimisation algorithms that combine the strengths and weaknesses of many different paradigms and also work incrementally.

Good performance at the MSE2021

The results of the 2021 MaxSAT Evaluation were just announced at the 2021 SAT conference (by me :)). My solver Loandra performed very well, taking first place in the weighted 300s track and fourth in all other tracks. The source code of that version of Loandra is already available at the evaluation website and in its repository.


I would like to thank my co-organizers of the Evaluation and the organizers of the SAT conference. I am looking forward to taking a closer look at the results.

Funding from the Academy of Finland

P.S, tomorrow i will be talking at the MIAO seminar about abstract cores. The talk will be recorded and put up on youtube later.

Today I received the very pleasant news of having been granted funding for my project “Next-generation Trustworthy Constraint Optimisation” from the Academy of Finland,
My proposal was one of the 44 post-doctoral projects that were granted funding (11% of all applications). My term as an Academy postdoctoral researcher will start this fall and continue until 2024. The full list of funded proposals can be found here.

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude toward the Academy. I am looking forward to the opportunity of realizing my (very cool) research plan!

The spring of presentations continues

A week ago I gave the second talk at the Simons Institute, this time at the Theoretical Foundations of SAT/SMT Solving seminar. The event webpage can be found here. I had the opportunity to talk about my work on preprocessing for Maximum Satisfiability, covering work done both during and after the preprocessing.

I would again like to thank Marjin Heule for considering me as a speaker for the event. Next time you can hear me speak is at Jakob Nordströms video seminars on the 4.6. I will talk about Abstract Cores in the IHS algorithm for MaxSAT, covering my recent paper from SAT 2020. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Invited Talks at the Simons Institute

This spring I have been very fortunate to have been invited to give to talks at the various different seminars run by the Simons Institute in California.

The first talk on solving MaxSAT was given on the 13th of April together with Matti Järvisalo. The talk was a part of the Beyond Satisfiability seminar, a recording of it can be found here.

The second talk will be on MaxSAT preprocessing on May 5th as a part of the Theoretical Foundation of SAT/SMT solving workshop. More information can be found here. As the talk is online. I invite anyone who is interested to attend. I am sure the talks will be interesting, personally I am looking forward to hearing about SAT and QBF preprocessing form Benjamin and Martina.

I would like to thank the organisers of the various seminars of the Simons Institute for considering me as a speaker in their events.

Member of Young Academy Finland

In the spring I was invited to join the Young Academy Finland (nuorten tiedeakatemia).
My 4-year membership started this fall.
The Academy is “a multidisciplinary organization for young researchers that aims to promote research and strengthen the status of science and scholarship in society“.
I am exited for this opportunity and hope to be able to form meaningful contacts and have a positive impact on the state of research and especially research communication in Finland during my four year mandate.  

My Thesis won an Award

I am happy to let you know that my Thesis: Solving Optimization Problems via Maximum Satisfiability: Encodings and Re-Encodings was awarded the international ACP Doctoral Thesis Award by the Association of Constraint Programming. I will be receiving the award and giving a presentation on my thesis on the 11.9 at the CP 2020 conference. The conference is virtual and free to attend, I hope to see you all there.

Im an honoured for receiving the price and want to thank the ACP for the recognition.
My presentation can be found at: at google drive.

A news article with more info can be found at: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/data-science-news/international-dissertation-award-to-berg

MaxSAT tutorial at ECAI 2020

Tomorrow (4.9.2020 at 14:00 Helsinki Timezone) I will be giving a tutorial on MaxSAT at the ECAI 2020 conference together with Matti Järvisalo and Ruben Martins. The event is virtual and attendance is free, so any interested people should attend.

I am looking forward to the (new) experience of giving a tutorial, I am happy with the material and am sure we will be able to tech people about modern MaxSAT in an affective way.

Best Paper award at SAT 2020

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I am happy to let you know that my paper titled Abstract Cores in Implicit Hitting set MaxSat solving has been awarded a best paper award at the 2020 SAT conference. The paper reports on work that was started during my visit to Toronto in 2019. We propose a technique that seeks to address the inherent drawback in the so called implicit hitting set approach to MaxSAT solving, one of the most successful approaches to solving MaxSAT instances corresponding to real world applications. Abstract cores seek to reduce the number of cores that the algorithm needs to extract before terminating without increasing the complexity of the core extraction steps too much. The instantiation of this idea in the MaxHS solver was one of the best performing approaches in the 2020 MaxSAT Evaluation.

I would like to thank the conference organizers for the recognition and for putting together an event that, considering the current circumstances, was probably the best possible way of organizing SAT 2020. I would also like to thank my co-authors, especially Prof. Fahiem Bacchus for his efforts in the implementation and getting the experimental results.