Prof. Dr. Malte Helmert receives ERC Consolidator Grant

With the coveted Consoldiator Grants the European Research Council (ERC) supports highly qualified young researchers who have a promising scientific track record. The researchers receive up to 2.4 million euros over five years for their projects.

In his ERC project, Prof. Dr. Malte Helmert deals with a fundamental problem of artificial intelligence, the search for solutions in very large state spaces. Among trillions of possibilities, the right decision must be made in order to achieve a goal set for the computer.

So-called heuristic search methods have proven to be particularly successful. Knowledge about the problem that is automatically generated by the computer is integrated into the search process in order to bound the search. However, these methods have rarely been questioned. Helmert and his research group are now working on various approaches for a new generation of search algorithms that go beyond the current state of the art. The main idea is the use of so-called “declarative heuristics,“ which represent problem-solving concepts in a universal mathematical form. The funding of his ERC Consolidator Grant amounts to two million euros.

Malte Helmert is Associate Professor for Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Mathematics und Computer Science of the University of Basel. For his research he already received an ERC Starting Grant in 2013.