Where academic tradition
meets the exciting future

Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research (IAMSR)

The research focus of IAMSR (as defined in its strategic plan for 2010-15) is on supporting people in expanding the limits of the possible in the structures of everyday life, which is guiding both fundamental and applied research and the development and use of soft computing and intelligent systems technologies. IAMSR builds on research traditions in management science and information systems research.

Soft Computing

Soft Computing builds on fuzzy sets theory, fuzzy logic, optimisation, neural nets, evolutionary algorithms, macro heuristics and approximate reasoning. Soft Computing is a new and innovative area of research which is focused on the design of intelligent systems to process uncertain, imprecise and incomplete information. Soft Computing methods applied to real-world problems offer more robust, tractable and less costly solutions than those obtained by more conventional mathematical techniques.

IAMSR was working on a Tekes strategic research project Knowledge Mobilisation [40211/08] in partnership with VTT 2008-2011 and in cooperation with UC Berkeley and five Finnish industrial partners. The theme of the project was knowledge mobilisation (“to make knowledge available for real-time use in a form which is adapted to the context of use and to the needs and cognitive profile of the user”); this sounds reasonable enough but contains a number of themes that contain unsolved research problems: (i) creating, building & forming knowledge; (ii) activating latent knowledge; (iii) searching for, finding and systematising hidden knowledge; (iv) distributing knowledge; (v) expanding the limits of the possible in everyday life routines for users of mobile knowledge technology. The project developed a fuzzy ontology as a basis for building knowledge and fuzzy optimisation and approximate reasoning models for activating latent knowledge, for systematising hidden knowledge and for distributing knowledge on mobile technology platforms.

A fuzzy ontology is better than a classical ontology for work with knowledge formation, activation and systematisation as the ontology does not grow as large and as fast, which is significantly important for working with real world knowledge in a dynamic context and especially if we want to make knowledge available through smart mobile phones. The results we have showed that a fuzzy ontology can be built and implemented and that it actually works as envisioned.

The results of the Knowledge Mobilisation projects were further developed in the Dyscotec project with partners Kemira, Metso Automation, Rautaruukki and UPM and research partner VTT. These results, again, are now being reused in the Data to Intelligence [D2I] SHOK-program with 57 partners. The research direction with knowledge mobilisation and fuzzy ontology is producing several doctoral theses and a good series of papers in journals and conference proceedings.

Multiple criteria and robust optimisation, logistics optimisation and real option valuation

The primary aim of the research is to investigate the links between robust and multiple objective optimisations. The ultimate goal is to propose effective solution methodologies for multiple objective discrete optimisation problems utilizing the computational success of the discrete robust optimisation techniques. The main scientific intention is to bridge the gap between the two separate fields so that each can benefit from the developments that take place in the other. The main intended result of the research is to create a new methodology for multi-objective robust optimisation problems. The development of this methodology will require an intelligent synthesis of multi-objective optimisation techniques and robustness models. This idea is novel and challenging but it has a strong theoretical background supported by previous original research. The theoretical and practical models are computationally very challenging and to tackle them efficiently in practice will require the use of soft computing methods as efficient methodological tools.

Mobile service systems and mobile value services with soft computing methods

IAMSR has carried out research on the design and implementation of mobile services for more than a decade, and IAMSR has developed, tested, validated and published models for mobile services for the consumer markets. In the years 2003-11 empirical studies have been carried out each year on how Finnish consumers use mobile services with random samples of 1000-1300 consumers; these samples are representative for the Finnish population and with high answering rates (~50%) IAMSR has been able to create a unique longitudinal database for systematic statistical modelling of the adoption of mobile services; the results have gained widespread international recognition and prompted benchmarking in a number of countries. The research direction is now expanding with work on developing and implementing digital services for young elderly [the age group 60-75 years] in the BeWell research program, which is part of the D2I SHOK-program and is being developed to become its own SRA from 2015. The BeWell is a partnership within the TISRA network that has been developed with the Information Systems Science at Turku School of Economics and Business Administration; the BeWell now has 12 company partners and 6 research partners and an international network with research partners in China, Germany, Italy, Sweden and The Netherlands.


IAMSR was a partner in the TUCS Graduate Program and in the Graduate Program for Systems Analysis, Decision Making and Risk Management (joint for Aalto University, University of Jyväskylä, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University) but is now running its doctoral program as part of the TISRA, which is the Turku Information Systems Research Alliance formed with the Information Systems Science of Turku School of Economics and Busines Administration. IAMSR has an international network of cooperating research groups which includes City University of Hong Kong, TU Delft, University of Koblenz, UC Berkeley, Obuda University, University of Granada, University of Trento and the SRI of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The cooperation builds on research visits by doctoral students, postdocs and senior researchers for periods ranging from 1-2 weeks up to 4-6 months; joint research projects (e.g. the comparative studies of mobile services in Finland, Holland and Greece) and joint papers for conferences and journals. IAMSR is a partner in the eBerea network that develops research cooperation and researcher exchange with seven Chinese universities; the network is funded through the Marie Curie program and includes also Aalto University, University of Turku and University of Jyväskylä as Finnish partners and TU Delft and University of Trento as European partners.

Professor Harry Bouwman (FiDiPro through 2015) is a key resource for the research work in the Mobile Value Services group (headed by Prof Pirkko Walden). Professor Robert Fullér and his research group at Obuda University in Budapest continue their cooperation with IAMSR (Professor Fullér was a FidiPro at IAMSR 2008-2012). Since 2009 Professor Mario Fedrizzi, University of Trento, is a Docent at Åbo Akademi University and works at IAMSR on fuzzy optimisation and multiple criteria group decisions problems.

IAMSR graduated three doctoral students in 2012 (Shahrokh Nikou, Alessandro Buoni and Siw Lundqvist) which was the same as in 2011 (Matteo Brunelli (now at Aalto), Yong Liu and Jozsef Mezei; Niklas Eriksson defended his doctoral thesis in 2013 and Sonja Leskinen her thesis in January 2014; there are two more theses ready for pre-evaluation.

Leader of the unit

Christer Carlsson

Co-leader of the unit

Pirkko Walden

Senior Researchers

Harry Bouwman Christer Carlsson Mario Fedrizzi Eija Karsten Pirkko Walden


Kaj-Mikael Björk Markku Heikkilä Jozsef Mezei Shahrokh Nikou Anna Sell

Doctoral Students

Hans Allmér Eyal Eshet Jie Guo Jaana Kallio-Gerlander Karri Hautanen John Jeansson Jani Kinnunen Mohammad Nazrul Hjalte Nerdrum Henrik Nyman Peter Strandvik Michael Råberg Guopeng Yu Camilla Walden Xiaolu Wang Magnus Westerlund Robin Wikström



Professor Harry Bouwman, 2011-2015. Professor Robert Fullér, -2012


Tekes, 2011-2013


Tekes SHOK, 2012–2014


Marie Curie 2011-13


Tekes 2013-14


Click here to see the full list of publications from the TUCS Publication Database

The latest updated publications:

Eyal Eshet, Harry Bouwman, Context of Use: The Final Frontier in the Practice of User-Centered Design?. Interacting with Computers , 1–23, 2016.

Eyal Eshet, Examining Human-Centered Design Practice in the Mobile Apps Era. TUCS Dissertations 212. 2016.