Mikael Nyberg utilized optimization to win a leg in Volvo Ocean Race game

March 02, 2012 Andreas Lundell In the media, News

Aided by one-hundred year old weather maps and his knowledge in optimization, PhD student Mikael Nyberg won a leg in one of the world’s largest virtual regattas, Volvo Ocean Race Game, with over 178 000 registered boats and about 90 000 participants. Nyberg was awarded a trip to Auckland, New Zeeland to visit the real Volvo Ocean Race when it visited the city.

When interviewed for the Åbo Akademi University news bulletin, Nyberg says “How the boats sail is easy to formulate mathematically. The problem is, however, that the combinatorial complexity is huge, since it grows exponentially with regards to the number of points.”

Nyberg used optimization software developed for the previous race by a Croatian programmer. In the software, where Nyberg helped with the optimization part, tree structures containing all alternatives from the starting and end points are used. These tree structures are then combined, and as the game progresses, bad branches can be removed from the trees.

Read more in Swedish in the magazine of ÅAU, Meddelanden från Åbo Akademi, number 4/2014 here.