Erik Sandewall at Linköping University was awarded the 2016 IJCAI Distinguished Service Award


The IJCAI Distinguished Service Award was established in 1979 by the IJCAI Trustees to honor senior scientists in AI for contributions and service to the field during their careers. Previous recipients have been Bernard Meltzer (1979), Arthur Samuel (1983), Donald Walker (1989), Woodrow Bledsoe (1991), Daniel G. Bobrow (1993), Wolfgang Bibel (1999), Barbara Grosz (2001), Alan Bundy (2003), Raj Reddy (2005), Ronald J. Brachman (2007), Luigia Carlucci Aiello (2009), Raymond C. Perrault (2011), Wolfgang Wahlster (2013) and Anthony G. Cohn (2015).

At the 25th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI-16, the Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award was given to Erik Sandewall, Professor of Computer Science (retired) at the Department of Computer and Information Science at Linköping University. Professor Sandewall is recognized for his substantial contributions, as well as his extensive service to the field of Artificial Intelligence throughout his career. He is one of the founders of IJCAI and he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Artificial Intelligence Journal for many years and made significant contributions to the success of the journal and to the wider dissemination of AI into the scientific community.


Links to read more about Erik Sandewall’s work:

Related Links:



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AI debate in Almedalen, Gotland, Sweden: When will robots take over politics and media?

On July, 6, there will be an interesting AI Seminarium (in Swedish) / AI Seminar (in English) about robots in politics and media at Almedalen, Visby, Gotland, Sweden.

(date, time & link: 6/7, 2016 10:30 – 12:00 AM,

The Almedalen Week (Almedalsveckan) is an annual event taking place in Almedalen, a park, in the city of Visby on the Swedish island Gotland. With speeches, seminars and other political activities, it is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics. During the week, representatives from the major political parties in Sweden take turns to make speeches in Almedalen.

AI debate: Society’s AI issues in relation to media/journalism
At this event, the conversation will be about how politics, journalism and society at large is affected by artificial intelligence (AI). Dialogue and conversation are created in the public sphere where people meet and share thoughts and opinions. But how will politics, journalism and society at large be affected by AI’s entry on the scene?

Expanded description of the social question (Society’s AI issues)
AI becomes increasingly more intelligent. Already today AI is creating basis for reports, articles and news reports faster and more accurately than any human can handle. What happens when robots and programs generates a new kind of insight? How are our values, our ethics changing and what are they? And how will the public debate? Meet some of Sweden’s foremost connoisseurs of AI’s discuss AI’s impact on society and journalism and their thoughts about the future.

Key Note Speaker: Matthew Waite, a professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and founder of the Drone Journalism Lab.

Also meet the NAO robot. He is 4 years old, born in France and raised in Sweden. He likes football, cooking and doing research on robots. Presented by Fredrik Löfgren, robot developer and Fredrik Heintz, associate professor of computer science at Linköping University and chairman of the Swedish AI Society.


Olle Häggström, author and Professor of Mathematics, Chalmers
Antje Jackelén, archbishop, Swedish church
Claudia Olsson, Associate Faculty Singularity University and CEO of Exponential Holding AB, Singularity University
Fredrik Löfgren, robot developer, Linköping University
Fredrik Heintz, associate professor of AI, Linköping University
Helena Giertta, editor, journalist
Martin Jönsson, editorial development manager, DN
Ginna Lindberg, foreign editor and moderator, Swedish Radio

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SAIS Best AI Master’s Thesis Award 2016

The SAIS board is happy to award Frej Knutar, Uppsala University, the 2016 SAIS Master’s Thesis Award, with the following motivation:

The award goes to Frej Knutar for his thesis entitled “Automatic Generation of Assembly Schedules For a Dual-Arm Robot Using Constraint Programming”. The thesis is well-written and of high quality, and it presents a highly relevant practical application of constraint-based models for the task sequencing of a two-armed robotic manufacturing cell. The solution is guaranteed to avoid arm collisions. It is also cyclic, meaning that one arm can start the next assembly while the other arm i finishing the previous one, which results in a high throughput. The solution is related to a real-world problem where such scheduling is currently most often done manually, which requires highly skilled engineers and takes anywhere from days to weeks to complete, while the proposed solution will complete within a matter of hours.

The thesis report is available here:

The thesis was presented at Uppsala University, and nominated by Pierre Flener, who also supervised the thesis. Industry supervisor at ABB was Johan Wessén.

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SAIS 29th annual Workshop in Malmö


The 29th annual workshop of the Swedish Artificial Intelligence Society (SAIS) will take place in Malmö, Sweden on June 2-3, 2016. The SAIS workshop provides an ideal forum for contacts among AI researchers and practitioners in Sweden and neighboring countries, as well as for establishing links with related research disciplines and industry.

The purpose of the SAIS workshop is:

  • To give PhD students an opportunity to present their research to a friendly and knowledgeable audience and receive valuable feedback.
  • To provide a forum for established researchers and practitioners to present past and current research contributing to the state of the art of AI research and applications.
  • To provide an informal social event where AI researchers and practitioners can meet.

SAIS 2016 welcomes both theoretical and applied contributions from all areas of AI, including (but not limited to) traditional topics such as search, machine learning, planning, knowledge representation, reasoning, natural language processing, and multi-agent systems. We specifically encourage submissions that cut across these areas and submissions on AI techniques in the context of novel application domains, such as security, sustainability, health care, transportation, Internet of Things, and commerce.

We invite two types of contributions to the SAIS workshop:

  • Original research papers. We explicitly encourage submission of relevant papers that are currently under review.
  • Position papers from research groups or companies.

The main purpose of position papers is to communicate research activities of individuals and groups in Sweden and neighboring countries. Such papers should describe current research/application challenges or current research/application endeavors.

All papers will be carefully reviewed by the program committee. Accepted papers will be published in the electronic workshop proceedings. Copyright stays with the authors and authors of previously unpublished papers accepted to the SAIS workshop are encouraged to submit these to other workshops or conferences. Before putting together the final electronic proceeding authors will be asked to confirm that they want to have their papers included in the proceedings.

All submissions should be in PDF and must be written in English. All papers should be submitted through EasyChair.

  • Original papers are not to exceed ten (10) pages, including all figures and references, in two-column A4 article format with 10pt font (detailed instructions are provided on the workshop webpage). Papers may be accepted for oral presentation or as posters.
  • Position papers are limited to six (6) pages.
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Notice of the Swedish AI Society’s annual meeting 2016 / Kallelse till Svenska AI-sällskapets årsmöte


Kallelse till Svenska AI-sällskapets årsmöte

Alla medlemmar i SAIS är härmed kallade till årsmöte den 2 juni kl
17:00-c:a 18 i samband med den SAIS workshop i Malmö

Vi hoppas att som många som möjligt kan delta och ser fram emot ett
välbesökt årsmöte.

Preliminär dagordning:
1.  Mötets öppnande
2.  Val av mötesordförande
3.  Val av mötessekreterare
4.  Val av justeringsperson
5.  Dagordningens fastställande
6.  Exjobbspris 2016
7.  SAIS webbsida
8.  SAIS information
9.  ECCAI information
10. Ekonomisk redovisning för 2016
11. Revisionsberättelse
12. Ansvarsfrihet för styrelsen verksamhetsåret 2016
13. Val av styrelse för verksamhetsåret 2017
14. Val av revisor för verksamhetsåret 2017
15. Val av valberedning för verksamhetsåret 2017
16. Fastställande av medlemsavgift 2017
17. Budget för verksamhetsåret 2017
18. SAIS Workshop 2017
19. Övriga frågor
20. Mötes avslutande

Fredrik Heintz
Ordförande SAIS


Notice of the Swedish AI Society’s annual meeting

All members of SAIS are hereby called to the Annual Meeting on June 2 at 17: 00 – about 18 in connection with the SAIS workshop in Malmö
( Http:// ) .

We hope that as many people as possible can participate and look forward to a well-attended annual meeting.

Provisional agenda :

1. Opening of the meeting
2. Election of Chairman
3. Election of Meeting Secretary
4. Election of Attestant
5. Fixing Agenda
6. Thesis Award 2016
7. SAIS web
8. SAIS information
9. ECCAI information
10. Financial Report for 2016
11. Audit Report
12. Discharge of the Board the financial year 2016
13.Election of Board of Directors for fiscal year 2017
14. Election of the auditor for fiscal year 2017
15. Election of Nomination Committee for fiscal year 2017
16. Determination of the membership in 2017
17. Budget for the financial year 2017
18. SAIS Workshop 2017
19. Other matters
20. Meeting Closure



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The SAIS AI Master’s Thesis Award 2016 – Call for nominations

In order to stimulate work in the area of artificial intelligence at the undergraduate level of education, SAIS has created a special yearly award for the best Master’s thesis (examensarbete) in the area of artificial intelligence. The winner will be awarded travel funds of 5000SEK, and is in addition expected to attend the SAIS workshop to present the winning contribution (travel, hotel and registration paid by SAIS).

To nominate a Master’s Thesis for the award, the following rules apply:

  • The thesis is in one of the main areas of artificial intelligence research.
  • The thesis has been presented officially during the period of January 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016.
  • An electronic copy of the thesis (PDF) and a short written motivation by the nominator should be sent to, include the terms “SAIS” and “Master’s Thesis award” in the subject line, no later than March 9, 2016. The nomination should include a short motivation why the thesis should be selected as the winner, and state its contributions to AI.
  • The nominating person must be a member of SAIS, but does not have to be the official examiner or primary supervisor.
  • Only one thesis nomination per nominating person is permitted.
  • The master thesis project has to be conducted by a student registered at a Swedish university or other higher education establishment in Sweden, and/or presented in Sweden.

The SAIS board will review the nominated Master’s theses and determine a winner based on factors such as novelty, thoroughness, readability, scientific value and relevance to artificial intelligence, both with respect to research and to potential applications. The decision by the SAIS board will be final. The selected winner will be announced in time for the 2016 SAIS workshop, where the winner will be expected to present their work.

Fredrik Heintz – President of SAIS
Eva Blomqvist – Secretary of SAIS

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SAIS Best AI Master’s Thesis Award 2015

Fredrik Heintz congratulates Mattias Tiger to winning the SAIS Best AI Master's Thesis Award

Fredrik Heintz congratulates Mattias Tiger to winning the SAIS Best AI Master’s Thesis Award

The SAIS board is happy to award Mattias Tiger the 2015 SAIS Master Thesis Award for the thesis ”Unsupervised Spatio-Temporal Activity Learning and Recognition in a Stream Processing Framework” with the following motivation:
The award goes to Mattias Tiger for a thesis, which presents extensive work that required substantial theoretical understanding, and which has resulted in a method with high potential for becoming used. Tiger has developed a novel trajectory clustering approach for unsupervised on-line learning of spatio-temporal activities of individual objects that can be used for both classifying ongoing activities and predict future activities. The representation learned includes both a continuous part representing the continuous trajectory of an object and a discrete part representing the transitions between primitive activities. The foundation for the work is a new approach to sparse Gaussian Processes suitable for representing trajectories. The problem is highly relevant for the AI field, not only for activity classification, but also for more generic non-parametric modelling of time series for several different applications. The work has so far resulted in two publications and in receiving a PhD student grant from the national graduate school in computer science (CUGS). The solution has scientific height, is well motivated and clearly described. The report is clear and pedagogical written.

The project was supervised by Daniel de Leng and Fredrik Heintz, both at Linköping University.

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ECAI 2014: The Reunion of AI and Robotics


Alessandro Saffiotti keynote at ECAI 2014

Alessandro Saffiotti from Örebro University, one of Sweden’s three ECCAI Fellows, today gave a keynote at ECAI 2014 in Prague. The title was “The Reunion of AI and Robotics – Opportunities and Challenges”. In the talk Alessandro shared his vision and ideas about how to bring AI and robotics closer together, which is very important.

For those that want to get involved there is an active community, for more information see:

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IJCAI/ECAI 2018 in Stockholm

It is my great pleasure to announce that IJCAI/ECAI 2018 will be in Stockholm! This will be the first joint IJCAI/ECAI conference. The background is that starting next year IJCAI will be a yearly conference and every forth year there will be a joint IJCAI/ECAI in Europe. It is also the first time that IJCAI is hosted in the same city twice.

This is a great opportunity for SAIS and for AI in Sweden!

Please join in the work and help us make this both a great event and more importantly a common goal for the Swedish AI community to show what we have done and what we can do. To achieve this we especially have to get more interactions with companies using AI-related technologies. If you work at such a company or know of such companies please let me know.

Fredrik Heintz
President of SAIS

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The Winner of SAIS best AI Master’s Thesis Award 2014

We are happy to announce that the winner of the Swedish AI Society’s prize for best AI Master’s Thesis 2014 is Daniel de Leng, for his thesis work conducted at Linköping University. The title of the thesis is “Extending semantic matching in DyKnow to handle indirectly-available streams”. The supervisor is Fredrik Heintz, Linköping University and the examiner is Professor John-Jules Meyer, Utrecht University.

The motivation is: The award goes to Daniel de Leng for a thesis, which presents extensive work that demonstrates skills in both software development for robotics, formal theory, and formal languages, all useful building blocks for artificial intelligence. A strength, and which proves the soundness of his results, is that it goes all the way from theory to implementation and evaluation. The results fit nicely into a use context, and advance both theoretical work on semantic information integration for stream reasoning by taking into consideration indirectly-available streams, and practical implementation as the first integrated version of DyKnow-ROS, which can be used for empirical experimentation. In this context, it is clear that the results open up several avenues of new paths for research. The text is well written, showing results with high level of maturity and has resulted in a scientific publication, which further shows that it is of high quality.

The submitted theses were read and evaluated by a group of expert reviewers. A combination of four criteria was used to determine the winner: maturity of content, scientific value, writing style, and relevance of the content to the AI area. All submitted theses were of very high quality but the chosen thesis stood out when evaluating all criteria.

The thesis will be presented at the SAIS workshop, which is taking place the coming two days (May 22-23) at KTH, Stockholm. For more information and schedule, please, visit

Helena Lindgren on behalf of the SAIS board

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