Optimizing the Use of Resources with Linear Programming - Review Notes

Linear programming, or LP, is one of the most powerful tools of management science. It is a mathematical technique used to allocate limited resources among competing demands in an optimal way. LP is a mathematical optimization technique.

Linear programming problems must have limited resources, workers, equipment, finances or material. They must also have an explicit objective such as to maximize profit or minimize cost. There must be linearity and homogeneity. Another constraint is divisibility. Normal linear programming assumes that products and resources can be subdivided into fractions. If this subdivision is not possible, a modification of linear programming called integer programming is used.

The steps in the graphical linear programming optimizing process are to formulate the problem in mathematical terms, plot the constraint equations, determine the area of feasibility, plot the objective function, and finally find the optimal point.

Spreadsheets can be used to solve linear programming problems and most spreadsheets have built-in optimization routines that are very easy to use and understand. For example, Microsoft Excel has an optimization tool called Solver. The CD that accompanies your textbook has a new product from Frontline Systems, called Premium Solver, that will work with Microsoft's Solver and provide additional features including those for doing genetic searches for non-linear problems.

Linear Programming Define

The Linear Programming Model

Graphical Linear Programming
Graphical Linear Programming Defined

Linear Programming Using Microsoft Excel

Genetic Solver Option

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