Naming Satalia: What does Satalia mean?

Satalia is the trading name of NPComplete Ltd. Both names relate to deep mathematical concepts, and in this article I talk about what they mean and where they come from.


From NP-Complete to Satalia


I had the idea for Optimisation-as-a-Service during my PhD in January 2007, whilst preparing for an Entrepreneurship class at London Business School. I pitched the concept to the class and built a team to assess the feasibility of the idea. We called the team NPC Solutions after the mathematical concept of NP-Completeness.


NP-Complete is a class of optimisation called a decision problem. NP-Complete problems appear in thousands of applications across almost every industry. The time required to solve even moderately sized problems can easily reach into the billions or trillions of years, using any amount of computing power available today. Understanding NP-Completeness sits at the centre of perhaps the most important question in Computer Science; does P =NP?


NP-Completeness sits at the centre of perhaps the most important question in Computer Science; does P =NP?

It was a struggle explaining to VCs, partners and clients why we were called NP-Complete, so we decided to create a trading name that was a little less geeky. Sitting at my cube in Cisco in 2009 I was brainstorming names over the phone with the one of my co-founders. As I was typing random 6 or 7 letter domain names starting with SAT into Google, trying SAT-this and SAT-that, I came across SAT-alia. After a quick search for the meaning of ‘alia’, SATalia was born.


What does Satalia mean?


The name Satalia is made up of two parts; ‘SAT’ which refers to Boolean Satisfiability; and ‘ALIA’ from the Latin phrase ‘et alia‘ (often abbreviated to ‘et al’) meaning ‘and others’. So SATALIA means ‘Boolean Satisfiability and others’ and describes our core product — the SolveEngine — that harnesses a wide range of optimisation algorithms from academia and industry (such as SAT,  OPB,  LP,  SMT,  MZN,  AMPL,  GAMS,  GMPL, CSP, etc).


The SolveEngine exists to be a conduit for state-of-the-art optimisation algorithms into industry, and to enable academics to realise the value of their innovations.

A SAT problem asks whether a given boolean formula can be made true; (a V b V ¬c) Λ (d V ¬a) Λ (a V ¬b V d) Λ (¬a). All optimisation problems can be reduced to a special form of SAT called 3-SAT, where each clause has exactly three literals; (a V b V ¬c) Λ (c V d V ¬a) Λ (a V ¬b V d). Satalia’s logo makes reference to 3-SAT; (S A T) Λ (L I A), with three letters either side the Λ; the greek letter Lambda, meaning AND.


At Satalia we love solving very hard (NP-Complete) problems and we use many algorithms (boolean satisfiability and others) to ensure our solutions are better than anything else on the market.


Satalia is an optimisation company founded in 2007 by Dr Daniel Hulme


We solve hard problems using data science, optimisation and artificial intelligence, and were named a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor.


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