# What Is Linear Programming? Definition, Methods and Problems for Data Scientists

avcontentteam 05 Jan, 2024 â€¢ 22 min read

## Introduction

Linear programming is a mathematical modeling technique that involves maximizing or minimizing a linear function while taking into account various constraints. This approach has proven useful in guiding quantitative decisions across different fields such as business planning, industrial engineering, and to some extent, in the social and physical sciences. Linear programming, also known as linear optimization, is a method for achieving the best possible outcome in a mathematical model where the requirements are defined by linear relationships

Optimization is the way of life. We all have finite resources and time and we want to make the most of them. From using your time productively to solving supply chain problems for your company – everything uses optimization. It’s an especially interesting and relevant topic in data science.

It is also a very interesting topic – it starts with simple problems, but it can get very complex. For example, sharing a bar of chocolate between siblings is a simple optimization problem. We don’t think in mathematical terms while solving it. On the other hand, devising inventory and warehousing strategies for an e-tailer can be very complex. Millions of SKUs with different popularity in different regions are to be delivered in defined time and resources – you see what I mean!

Linear programming (LP) is one of the simplest ways to perform optimization. It helps you solve some very complex LP problems and linear optimization problems by making a few simplifying assumptions. As an analyst, you are bound to come across applications and problems to be solved by Linear Programming solutions.

For some reason, LP doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves while learning data science. So, I thought let me do justice to this awesome technique. I decided to write an article that explains Linear programming examples in simple English. I have kept the content as simple as possible. The idea is to get you started and excited about Linear Programming.

Note- If you want to learn this in a course format, we have curated this free course for you- Linear Programming for Data Science Professionals

## What is Linear Programming?

Now, what is linear programming? Linear programming is a simple technique where we depict complex relationships through linear functions and then find the optimum points. The important word in the previous sentence is depicted. The real relationships might be much more complex – but we can simplify them to linear relationships.

Moreover, it’s important to note that linear programming is a special case of mathematical programming. It involves finding the optimal solution to a problem that involves linear relationships between the decision variables and the constraints. This method has applications in various industries and fields, from production planning to logistics optimization, and is a powerful tool in making data-driven decisions that can lead to improved efficiency and cost savings.

Applications of linear programming are everywhere around you. You use linear programming at personal and professional fronts. You are using linear programming when you are driving from home to work and want to take the shortest route. Or when you have a project delivery you make strategies to make your team work efficiently for on-time delivery.

#### Example of a Linear Programming Problem (LPP)

Let’s say a FedEx delivery man has 6 packages to deliver in a day. The warehouse is located at point A. The 6 delivery destinations are given by U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. The numbers on the lines indicate the distance between the cities. To save on fuel and time the delivery person wants to take the shortest route.

So, the delivery person will calculate different routes for going to all 6 destinations and then come up with the shortest route. This technique of choosing the shortest route is called linear programming.

In this case, the objective of the delivery person is to deliver the parcel on time at all 6 destinations. The process of choosing the best route is called Operation Research. Operation research is an approach to decision-making, which involves a set of methods to operate a system. In the above example, my system was the Delivery model.

Linear programming is used for obtaining the most optimal solution for a problem with given constraints. In linear programming, we formulate our real-life problem into a mathematical model. It involves an objective function, and linear inequalities with subject to constraints.

Is the linear representation of the 6 points above representative of the real world? Yes and No. It is an oversimplification as the real route would not be a straight line. It would likely have multiple turns, U-turns, signals and traffic jams. But with a simple assumption, we have reduced the complexity of the problem drastically and are creating a solution that should work in most scenarios.

#### Formulating a Problem

Let’s manufacture some chocolates…
Example: Consider a chocolate manufacturing company that produces only two types of chocolate – A and B. Both the chocolates require Milk and Choco only.  To manufacture each unit of A and B, the following quantities are required:

• Each unit of A requires 1 unit of Milk and 3 units of Choco
• Each unit of B requires 1 unit of Milk and 2 units of Choco

The company kitchen has a total of 5 units of Milk and 12 units of Choco. On each sale, the company makes a profit of

• Rs 6 per unit A sold
• Rs 5 per unit B sold.

Now, the company wishes to maximize its profit. How many units of A and B should it produce respectively?

Solution: The first thing I’m gonna do is represent the problem in a tabular form for better understanding.

 Milk Choco Profit per unit A 1 3 Rs 6 B 1 2 Rs 5 Total 5 12

Let the total number of units produced by A be = X

Let the total number of units produced by B be = Y

Now, the total profit is represented by Z

The total profit the company makes is given by the total number of units of A and B produced multiplied by its per-unit profit of Rs 6 and Rs 5 respectively.

Profit: Max Z = 6X+5Y

which means we have to maximize Z.

The company will try to produce as many units of A and B to maximize the profit. But the resources Milk and Choco are available in a limited amount.

As per the above table, each unit of A and B requires 1 unit of Milk. The total amount of Milk available is 5 units. To represent this mathematically,

X+Y â‰¤ 5

Also, each unit of A and B requires 3 units & 2 units of Choco respectively. The total amount of Choco available is 12 units. To represent this mathematically,

3X+2Y â‰¤ 12

Also, the values for units of A can only be integers.

So we have two more constraints, X â‰¥ 0  &  Y â‰¥ 0

For the company to make maximum profit, the above inequalities have to be satisfied.

This is called formulating a real-world problem into a mathematical model.

## Types of Linear Programming Problems

Manufacturing Problems:

Manufacturing problems aim to optimize production decisions for maximum profits or minimal costs, considering resource availability (labor, materials), production rates, fees, and product selling prices.

Diet Problems:

Diet problems seek the least costly diet meeting nutritional requirements, factoring in nutritional content, food costs, and dietary constraints (allergies, preferences). A nutritionist may minimize costs while meeting nutritional needs.

Transportation Problems:

Transportation problems minimize moving goods costs from sources to destinations. Factors include supply at sources, demand at destinations, and transportation costs. Companies optimize shipping from factories to warehouses under constraints.

Optimal Assignment Problems:

Optimal assignment problems efficiently allocate tasks or resources. Factors include individual or machine skills and costs or time for different assignments. Managers may assign employees to projects for time optimization.

## Common Terminologies Used in Linear Programming

Let us define some terminologies used in Linear Programming using the above example.

• Decision Variables: The decision variables are the variables that will decide my output. They represent my ultimate solution. To solve any problem, we first need to identify the decision variables. For the above example, the total number of units for A and B denoted by X & Y respectively are my decision variables.
• Objective Function: It is defined as the objective of making decisions. In the above example, the company wishes to increase the total profit represented by Z. So, profit is my objective function.
• Constraints: The constraints are the restrictions or limitations on the decision variables. They usually limit the value of the decision variables. In the above example, the limit on the availability of resources Milk and Choco are my constraints.
• Non-negativity Restriction: For all linear programs, the decision variables should always take non-negative values. This means the values for decision variables should be greater than or equal to 0.

#### The Process of Formulating a Linear Programming Problem

Let us look at the steps of defining a Linear Programming problem generically:

1. Identify the decision variables
2. Write the objective function
3. Mention the constraints
4. Explicitly state the non-negativity restriction

For a problem to be a linear programming problem, the decision variables, objective function and constraints all have to be linear functions.

If all the three conditions are satisfied, it is called a Linear Programming Problem.

## Solve Linear Programs by Graphical Method

A linear program can be solved by multiple methods. In this section, we are going to look at the Graphical method for solving a linear program. This method is used to solve a two-variable linear program. If you have only two decision variables, you should use the graphical method to find the optimal solution.

A graphical method involves formulating a set of linear inequalities subject to the constraints. Then the inequalities are plotted on an X-Y plane. Once we have plotted all the inequalities on a graph the intersecting region gives us a feasible region. The feasible region explains what all values our model can take. And it also gives us the best solution.

Let’s understand this with the help of an example.

Example: A farmer has recently acquired a 110 hectares piece of land. He has decided to grow Wheat and barley on that land. Due to the quality of the sun and the regionâ€™s excellent climate, the entire production of Wheat and Barley can be sold. He wants to know how to plant each variety in the 110 hectares, given the costs, net profits and labor requirements according to the data shown below:

 Variety Cost (Price/Hec) Net Profit (Price/Hec) Man-days/Hec Wheat 100 50 10 Barley 200 120 30

The farmer has a budget of US\$10,000 and availability of 1,200 man-days during the planning horizon. Find the optimal solution and the optimal value.

Solution: To solve this problem, first we gonna formulate our linear program.

#### Formulation of a Linear Problem

Step 1: Identify the decision variables

The total area for growing Wheat = X (in hectares)

The total area for growing Barley  = Y (in hectares)

X and Y are my decision variables.

Step 2: Write the objective function

Since the production from the entire land can be sold in the market. The farmer would want to maximize the profit for his total produce. We are given net profit for both Wheat and Barley. The farmer earns a net profit of US\$50 for each hectare of Wheat and US\$120 for each Barley.

Our objective function (given by Z) is, Max Z = 50X + 120Y
Step 3: Writing the constraints

1. It is given that the farmer has a total budget of US\$10,000. The cost of producing Wheat and Barley per hectare is also given to us. We have an upper cap on the total cost spent by the farmer. So our equation becomes:

100X + 200Y â‰¤ 10,000

2. The next constraint is the upper cap on the availability of the total number of man-days for the planning horizon. The total number of man-days available is 1200. As per the table, we are given the man-days per hectare for Wheat and Barley.

10X + 30Y â‰¤ 1200

3. The third constraint is the total area present for plantation. The total available area is 110 hectares. So the equation becomes,

X + Y â‰¤ 110
Step 4: The non-negativity restriction

The values of X and Y will be greater than or equal to 0. This goes without saying.

X â‰¥ 0, Y â‰¥ 0

We have formulated our linear program. It’s time to solve it.

#### Solving an LP Through the Graphical Method

Since we know that X, Y â‰¥ 0. We will consider only the first quadrant.

To plot for the graph for the above equations, first I will simplify all the equations.

100X + 200Y â‰¤ 10,000 can be simplified to X + 2Y â‰¤ 100 by dividing by 100.

10X + 30Y â‰¤ 1200 can be simplified to X + 3Y â‰¤ 120 by dividing by 10.

The third equation is in its simplified form, X + Y â‰¤ 110.

Plot the first 2 lines on a graph in the first quadrant (like shown below)

The optimal feasible solution is achieved at the point of intersection where the budget & man-days constraints are active. This means the point at which the equations X + 2Y â‰¤ 100 and X + 3Y â‰¤ 120 intersect gives us the optimal solution.

The values for X and Y which gives the optimal solution is at (60,20).

To maximize profit the farmer should produce Wheat and Barley in 60 hectares and 20 hectares of land respectively.

The maximum profit the company will gain is,

Max Z = 50 * (60) + 120 * (20)

= Â US\$5400

Note: Everything taught here has also been taught in a course format in this free course- Linear Programming for Data Science Professionals

## Solve Linear Program Using R

R is an open-source tool that is very popular among the data scientists for essential data science tasks. Performing linear programming is very easy and we can attain an optimum solution in very few steps. Come let’s learn.

Example: A toy manufacturing organization manufactures two types of toys A and B. Both the toys are sold at Rs.25 and Rs.20 respectively. There are 2000 resource units available every day from which the toy A requires 20 units while toy B requires 12 units. Both of these toys require a production time of 5 minutes. Total working hours are 9 hours a day. What should be the manufacturing quantity for each of the pipes to maximize the profits?

Here:

The objective function is:
Max.Z=25x+20y

where x are the units of pipe A

y are the units of pipe B

Constraints:
20x+12y<=2000

5x+5y<=540

Let’s see the code part now:

Output

```summary(opt)

Length Class Mode
direction 1 -none- numeric
x.count 1 -none- numeric
objective 2 -none- numeric
const.count 1 -none- numeric
constraints 8 -none- numeric
int.count 1 -none- numeric
int.vec 1 -none- numeric
bin.count 1 -none- numeric
binary.vec 1 -none- numeric
num.bin.solns 1 -none- numeric
objval 1 -none- numeric
solution 2 -none- numeric
presolve 1 -none- numeric
compute.sens 1 -none- numeric
sens.coef.from 1 -none- numeric
sens.coef.to 1 -none- numeric
duals 1 -none- numeric
duals.from 1 -none- numeric
duals.to 1 -none- numeric
scale 1 -none- numeric
use.dense 1 -none- numeric
dense.col 1 -none- numeric
dense.val 1 -none- numeric
dense.const.nrow 1 -none- numeric
dense.ctr 1 -none- numeric
use.rw 1 -none- numeric
tmp 1 -none- character
status 1 -none- numeric

> opt\$solution
[1] 88 20

> opt\$objval
[1] 2600

```

Therefore from the output, we see that the organization should produce 88 units of toy A and 20 units of toy B and the maximum profit for the organization will be Rs.2600.

## Solve Linear Program Using OpenSolver

In reality, a linear program can contain 30 to 1000 variables and solving it either Graphically or Algebraically is next to impossible. Companies generally use OpenSolver to tackle these real-world problems. Here I am gonna take you through steps to solve a linear program using OpenSolver.

OpenSolver is an open-source linear and optimizer for Microsoft Excel. It is an advanced version of a built-in Excel Solver. You can download OpenSolver here and follow the installation manual.

I want you to get hands-on knowledge of using OpenSolver. So, for a clear understanding, I will explain it using an example.

Example: Below there is a diet chart that gives me calories, protein, carbohydrate and fat content for 4 food items. Sara wants a diet with minimum cost. The diet chart is as follows:

 Food Item 1 Food Item 2 Food Item 3 Food Item 4 Calories 400 200 150 500 Protien (in grams) 3 2 0 0 Carbohydrates ( in grams) 2 2 4 4 Fat (in grams) 2 4 1 5 Cost \$0.50 \$0.20 \$0.30 \$0.80

The chart gives the nutrient content as well as the per-unit cost of each food item. The diet has to be planned in such a way that it should contain at least 500 calories, 6 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat.

Solution: First, I’m gonna formulate my linear program in a spreadsheet.

• Step 1: Identify the decision variables. Here my decision variables are the food items. Add the headers. For trial purposes, we are entering arbitrary values. Let’s say, Sara consumes 3 units of Food Item 1, 0 unit of Food Item 2, 1  unit of Food Item 3 and 0 unit of Food Item 4. These are called variable cells.
• Step 2: Now we will write our objective function. For the diet to be optimal we must have minimum cost along with required calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

In cell B7:E7  we take the reference to the number of units. And in cell B8:E8 we put the per-unit cost of each food item.

In cell B10, we want the total cost of the diet. The total cost is given by the sumproduct of the number of units eaten and per-unit cost. Sumproduct is given by = B7*B8+C7*C8+D7*D8+E7*E8. Let’s see this in a spreadsheet.

• Step 3: Now, we will enter the constraints. Column F contains a total of calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fat. The total number of calorie intake in given by sumproduct the number of food items eaten and the calorie consumed per food item. For cell F13= Sumprodcut(\$B\$7:\$F\$7, B13:F13). Similarly for others. Column G gives the inequality since the problem demands Calories, Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat to be at least 500, 6, 10 and 8 respectively. Column H gives the required nutrient content.
• Step 4: Now, we will enter the Linear program into the solver. Now, once you have installed OpenSolver. When you click on the Data tab, on the right you will see Model. Click on the model, then enter the values one by one. First, we will enter the objective function,\$B10 i.e in the objective cell. Select minimize because we want to minimize the diet cost.
• Step 5: Now enter the decision variables in the variable cells.
• Step 6: Now, we will add the constraints. The first constraint is the F13 â‰¥  H13. Add all the constraints one by one.
• Step 7: Now, you have to enter one important constraint. The non-negativity restriction. All the decision variables will be greater than 0.
• Step 8: Now, click on Save Model to finish the modeling process. Once you save the model, it will look something like this.
• Step 9: Once the model is saved click on the Data tab then click solve. The optimal solution and values are displayed in the corresponding cells. The optimal minimum cost is US\$0.90. Sara should consume 3 units of Food Item 2 and 1 unit of Food Item 3 for the required nutrient content at the minimum cost. This solves our linear program.

## Simplex Method

Simplex Method is one of the most powerful & popular methods for linear programming. The simplex method is an iterative procedure for getting the most feasible solution. In this method, we keep transforming the value of basic variables to get maximum value for the objective function.

A linear programming function is in its standard form if it seeks to maximize the objective function. subject to constraints,

.                 .                 .                 .                .              .

.                 .                 .                  .               .             .

where,  and . After adding slack variables, the corresponding system of constraint equation is,

.                                    .                                       .                    .

where,

The variables,  ………………. are called slack variables. They are non-negative numbers that are added to remove the inequalities from an equation.

The above explanation gives the theoretical explanation of the simplex method. Now, I am gonna explain how to use the simplex method in real life using Excel.

Example: The advertising alternatives for a company include television, newspaper and radio advertisements. The cost for each medium with its audience coverage is given below.

The local newspaper limits the number of advertisements from a single company to ten. Moreover, in order to balance the advertising among the three types of media, no more than half of the total number of advertisements should occur on the radio. And at least 10% should occur on television. The weekly advertising budget is \$18,200. How many advertisements should be run in each of the three types of media to maximize the total audience?

Solution: First I am going to formulate my problem for a clear understanding.

Step 1: Identify Decision Variables

Let , ,    represent the total number of ads for television, newspaper, and radio respectively.

Step 2: Objective Function

The objective of the company is to maximize the audience. The objective function is given by:

Step 3: Write down the constraints

Now, I will mention each constraint one by one.

It is clearly given that we have a budget constraint. The total budget which can be allocated is \$18,200. And the individual costs per television, newspaper and radio advertisement is \$2000, \$600 and \$300 respectively. This can be represented by the equation,

The next constraint is the number of advertisements on television. The company wants at least 10% of the total advertisements to be on television. So, it can be represented as:

Now, I have formulated my linear programming problem. We are using the simplex method to solve this. I will take you through the simplex method one by one.

To reiterate all the constraints are as follows. I have simplified the last two equations to bring them in standard form.

We have a total of 4 equations. To balance out each equation, I am introducing 4 slack variables,  and .

So our equations are as follows:

I hope now you are available to make sense of the entire advertising problem. All the above equations are only for your better understanding. Now if you solve these equations, you will get the values for X1= 4, X2= 10 and X3= 14.

On solving the objective function you will get the maximum weekly audience as 1,052,000. You can follow the tutorial here to solve the equation. To solve a linear program in excel, follow this tutorial.

## Northwest Corner Method and Least Cost Method

### Northwest Corner Method

The northwest corner method is a special type of method used for transportation problems in linear programming. It is used to calculate the feasible solution for transporting commodities from one place to another. Whenever you are given a real-world problem, which involves supply and demand from one source or a different source. The data model includes the following:

• The level of supply and demand at each source is given
• The unit transportation of a commodity from each source to each destination

The model assumes that there is only one commodity. The demand for this can come from different sources. The objective is to fulfill the total demand with minimum transportation costs. The model is based on the hypothesis that the total demand is equal to the total supply, i.e the model is balanced. Let’s understand this with the help of an example.

Example: Consider there are 3 silos which are required to satisfy the demand from 4 mills. (A silo is a storage area of the farm used to store grain and Mill is a grinding factory for grains).

Solution: Let’s understand what the above table explains.

The cost of transportation from Silo i to Mill j is given by the cost in each cell corresponding to the supply from each silo 1 and the demand at each Mill. For example, The cost of transporting from Silo 1 to Mill 1 is \$10, from Silo 3 to Mill 5 is \$18. It is also given the total demand & supply for mill and silos. The objective is to find the minimal transportation cost such that the demand for all the mills is satisfied.

As the name suggests Northwest corner method is a method of allocating the units starting from the top-left cell.

The demand for Mill 1 is 5 and Silo 1 has a total supply of 15. So, 5 units can be allocated to Mill1 at a cost of \$10 per unit. The demand for Mill1 is met. then we move to the top-left cell of Mill 2.

The demand for Mill 2 is 15 units, which it can get 10 units from Silo 1 at a cost of \$2 per unit and 5  units from Silo 2 at a cost of \$7 per unit.

Then we move onto Mill 3, the northwest cell is S2M3. The demand for Mill 3 is 15 units, which it can get from Silo 2 at a cost of \$9 per unit.

Moving on to the last Mill, Mill  4 has a demand of 15 units. It will get 5 units from a Silo 2 at a cost of \$20 per unit and 10 units from Silo 3 at a cost of \$18 per unit.

The total cost of transportation is = 5*10+(2*10+7*5)+9*15+(20*5+18*10) = \$520

#### Least Cost Method

Least Cost method is another method to calculate the most feasible solution for a linear programming problem. This method derives more accurate results than the Northwest Corner method. It is used for transportation and manufacturing problems. To keep it simple I am explaining the above transportation problem.

According to the least cost method, you start from the cell containing the least unit cost for transportation. So, for the above problem, I supply 5 units from Silo 3 at a per-unit cost of \$4. The demand for Mill1 is met. For Mill 2, we supply 15 units from Silo 1 at a per-unit cost of \$2. Then For Mill 3 we supply 15 units from Silo 2 at a per-unit cost of \$9. Then for Mill 4 we supply 10 units from Silo 2 at a per unit cost of \$20 and 5 units from Silo 3 an \$18 per unit. The total transportation costs are \$475.

Well, the above method explains we can optimize our costs further with the best method. Let’s check this using Excel Solver. Solver is an in-built add-on in Microsoft Excel. It’s an add-in plug available in Excel. Go to file->options->add-ins->select solver->click on manage->select solver->click Ok. Your solver is now added in excel. You can check it under the Data tab.

The first thing I am gonna do is enter my data in excel. After entering the data in excel, I have calculated the total of C3:F3. Similarly for others. This is done to take the total demand from Silo 1 and others.

After this, I am gonna break my model into two. The first table gives me the units supplied and the second table gives me the unit cost.

Now, I am calculating my total cost which will be given by Sumproduct of unit cost and units supplied.

Now I am gonna use Solver to compute my model. Similar to the above method. Add the objective function, variable cells, constraints.

Now your model is ready to be solved. Click on solve and you will get your optimal cost. The minimum transportation cost is \$435.

## Applications of Linear Programming

Linear programming and Optimization are used in various industries. The manufacturing and service industry uses linear programming on a regular basis. In this section, we are going to look at the various applications of Linear programming.

#### Supply Chain Operations

Manufacturing industries use linear programming for analyzing their supply chain operations. Their motive is to maximize efficiency with minimum operation cost. As per the recommendations from the linear programming model, the manufacturer can reconfigure their storage layout, adjust their workforce and reduce the bottlenecks. Here is a small Warehouse case study of Cequent a US-based company, watch this video for a more clear understanding.

#### Shelf Space Optimization

Linear programming is also used in organized retail for shelf space optimization. Since the number of products in the market has increased in leaps and bounds, it is important to understand what does the customer want. Optimization is aggressively used in stores like Walmart, Hypercity, Reliance, Big Bazaar, etc. The products in the store are placed strategically keeping in mind the customer’s shopping pattern. The objective is to make it easy for a customer to locate & select the right products. This is subject to constraints like limited shelf space, a variety of products, etc.

#### Optimizing Delivery Routes

Optimization is also used for optimizing Delivery Routes. This is an extension of the popular traveling salesman problem. The service industry uses optimization for finding the best route for multiple salesmen traveling to multiple cities. With the help of clustering and greedy algorithm, the delivery routes are decided by companies like FedEx, Amazon, etc. The objective is to minimize the operation cost and time.

#### Optimizing Machine Learning Models

Optimizations are also used in Machine Learning. Supervised Learning works on the fundamental of linear programming. A system is trained to fit a mathematical model of a function from the labeled input data that can predict values from unknown test data.

Well, the applications of Linear programming don’t end here. There are many more applications of linear programming in the real-world like those applied by Shareholders, Sports, Stock Markets, etc. Go on and explore further.

## Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I have tried to explain all the basic concepts under linear programming. If you have any doubts or questions feel free to post them in the comments section. For easy understanding, we have broken this long article into a shorter course format – Linear Programming for Data Science Professionals

I have explained each concept with a real-life example. I want you to try them at your end and get hands-on experience. Let me know what you think!

Q1. What is linear programming and why is it important?

A. Linear programming is an optimization technique used to optimize a linear objective function, subject to linear constraints represented by linear equations or linear constraints. It’s a mathematical technique to help find the best possible solution to a problem that has multiple objectives and limited resources.

Q2. What is a linear programming problem in simple words?

A. Linear programming problem is an optimization problem where the goal is to find the maximum or the minimum value within a number of constraints(such as available resources or limitations) depending upon the type of problem we are solving.

Q3. What is an objective function in LPP (linear programming problem)?

A. An objective function is a linear equation that represents the relationship between the decision variables and the value that is to be optimized. Every optimizing technique such as Linear programming or integer programming has an objective function that needs to be minimized/maximized in order to produce the best results. In LPP, the objective function is used along with the constraints to determine the optimal solution to the problem.

avcontentteam 05 Jan 2024

kumar 28 Feb, 2017

EXCELLENT NARRATION.I LIKE IT.

Arun 28 Feb, 2017

Nice Article. Well written !!!

Dima 28 Feb, 2017

Can you elaborate more on applications in Machine Learning? I was looking for uses of LP in ML, but all I found are rarely used applications - such as L1 norm-distance classifications and clustering.

Bipul 28 Feb, 2017

Nice and simple explanation. And much needed for budding data scientist like me. Thanks!

JB 28 Feb, 2017

Hi Swati, Thank you for your articles, they always teach useful stuff. Could you please provide printer versions of the article as I would like to collect them for later reference. Thank you

Geeta Shah 28 Feb, 2017

Thank you ma'am. it was really helpful :-)

Abhishek Kulkarni 28 Feb, 2017

Thank You for the insightful article. Always knew of the existence of optimization methods, but never of the applications.

Anil Muduli 02 Mar, 2017

Very Good article with explanations. Appreciate it. Thanks.

Abhinandan Nuli 02 Mar, 2017

Amazing article!! Simple, yet effective one.. Thanks for sharing the info.

Anantha Sreenivas 03 Mar, 2017

Hi Swati, Very informative and useful article, esp. with the real life examples. Thank you,

Rahul Ravipati 08 Mar, 2017

Hi Swati, Great read. I studied Linear programming in my master's degree in industrial and systems engineering. I ahave know idea about data science.My doubt is how is linear programming used in data science? What is the relation between LP and data science?

Noor Mohamed M 25 Jul, 2017

it helped me to revise and quick wrap up the important concepts in operation research subject. Good work swati, Have you written anymore article.

thanks for sharing with us, nice

Gangai selvi 04 Sep, 2017

Excellent.?â˜ºâ˜ºâ˜ºâ˜º

Siddu 13 Oct, 2017

Hi Swati, Nice explanation of LP with different examples. Thanks a lot this. but it would be very thankful where i can find a best example of LP with SAS code.

bhargav 21 Oct, 2017

Excellent,Can you please provide the document for application of linear programming in production scheduling.

Mit 22 Nov, 2017

Hi, It's a very informative article, thanks for this. I use Apache Spark's MLlib for my machine learning usecases. How to do the same linear optimization using spark MLlib?

Mit 27 Nov, 2017

Hi Swati, This is very informative. Thanks for this article. I use Apache Spark MLlib for my machine learning use cases. Is there a way to do this linear optimization in apache spark? I have seen certain methods which talk about linear classification or regression but not optimization. Please make an article solving these kinds of problems using spark if possible. Thank you.

Deepak 30 Nov, 2017

Hi Swati, You explained LP flawlessly. Reading your article have made me to understand the concept clearly and have cleared all my doubts I had earlier. Thanks & regards

Rajkumar K 11 Dec, 2017

Great summary of optimization problems & linear programming. This is a great starting point for a newbie and unlike other content on the web, this is very precise and focused.

Avaneeesh Kumar 21 Dec, 2017

avinash 28 Dec, 2017

hi, can we have real-time data-sets so that we could implement with this optimization technique and can you please provide it with real time case study...

mahendra ramphul 07 Jan, 2018

Excellent and making LP interesting for novice like me. Actually, i am learning for a DBA and need to understand and use IBM Cplex sofware during the data analysis. The thesis investigates Empty Containing Policies of Shipping Lines Operating in Mauritius and most of the literature review and studies have used optimisation solution for their data analysis. Unfortunately, i have contacted the local IBM representative but he is unable to help. Can you put me in contact with persons well versed with IBM Cplex and / or anyone who can help. Thank you M.Ramphul

J 19 Jan, 2018

Hey! Thank you so much for your hard work on this!

Azher 11 Feb, 2018

Very nice article and very easy to understand especially for the beginners.

Aviroop 30 Mar, 2018

Great article Swati! AMPL and WinQSB are also great tools for solving LP problems.

Satnam 01 Apr, 2018

@Swati - Good effort. A suggestion - Use python-based libraries so that it can be integrated into the product as well. Also, venture into the BIP and MIP problems.

beni castro 12 Apr, 2018

Thank you for help. what about maximization, minimization, and dual problems

bhupender singh janmejai 18 Apr, 2018

A great and a must read article for everyone aspiring to learn optimisation and business decisions.All examples provide real business challenges and prompts the reader to solve them. I have been solving all the examples above , but I am unsure about the solutions I have been deriving !! Can u please share with us the solutions to all the problems mentioned above, like the logistics and the chocolate manufacturing case? .It would be great if you can share the details of those problems. Regards !

SHUBHAM KSHIRSAGAR 03 May, 2018

BEST EXPLANATION!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH...

Thrishul 17 May, 2018

Nice Article. Thanks

Dai Software 10 Sep, 2021

Cliff Richard Kikawa 14 Dec, 2021

The best introductory part to LP that I have seen in recent times. I have actually made class notes from it to share with my students.

7. A farmer is attempting to decide which of three crops he should plant on his 100 acre farm. The profit from each crop is strongly dependent on the rainfall during the growing season. He has categorized the amount of the rainfall as substantial, moderate or light. He estimates his profit for each crop as shown in the table below: Rainfall Estimated Profit (Br) Crop A Crop B Crop C Substantial Moderate Light 7,000 3,500 1,000 2,500 3,500 4,000 4,000 4,000 3,000 Based on the weather in previous seasons and the current projection for the coming season, he estimates the probability of substantial rainfall as 0.2, that of moderate rainfall as 0.3 and that of light rainfall as 0.5. Furthermore, services of forecasters could be employed to provide a detailed survey of current rainfall prospects as shown in the table. Rainfall Estimated Profit (Br) Crop B Crop C Substantial Moderate Light 0.70 0.30 0.10 0.25 0.60 0.20 0.05 0.10 0.70 (a) From the available data, determine the optimal decision as to which crop to plant under condition of uncertainty (b) From the available data, determine the optimal decision as to which crop to plant under condition of risk EMV and EOL

Aman 06 Oct, 2022

For the first time a worthy blog I found with all the necessary information and the required data. the explanation is in simple understandable language. keep up the good work!!!

Neba Brenda Asoh 13 Oct, 2022

I learnt a lot thanks it was great working with you

Angel 12 May, 2023

Thanks Swati for the content

Aiza Danayal 07 Mar, 2024

Well written article