Linear programming: types, purpose and algorithm of work

Linear programming is one way to solve problems in Microsoft Excel. This method is quite simple. It significantly speeds up the whole process of work and does not require special skills.

linear programming

Work algorithm

Linear programming in Excel allows you to solve problems in two ways: "manually" and automatically, thanks to ready-made formulas. For both the first and second methods, it is enough to have an initial level of skills to use Microsoft Excel, be able to set parameters, use ready-made formulas, or enter them manually. Let's talk in more detail about each of the options mentioned.

"Handmade"

Often, linear programming tasks can be carried out "manually." That is, a cell is selected, an equation icon is put in, and after that mathematical calculations are made (all you have to do is to select each mathematical symbol of the problem).This method is convenient for those who do not use Microsoft Excel all the time. It requires minimum skills to work with the mentioned application, moreover, the absence of special mathematical packages is allowed. But still there are downsides. Manually you will not be able to solve complex algebraic and geometric problems with several stages of solution. You can not for two reasons: first, you may not have enough skills and knowledge in the field of solving complex problems; secondly, it is impossible due to the lack of settings of mathematical formulas.

excel linear programming

Automatic linear programming

This method is not so difficult, it is enough to understand the algorithm of its work, which we now consider. So, to solve a complex mathematical problem, you need:

  • enter in the column “Problem Condition” initial data, as well as restrictions (if any);
  • enable the automatic solution search function;
  • set the necessary parameters for solving the problem and start its execution.

Linear programming will not only give the result, but also explain the whole process of solving the problem, show reports and all possible solutions (if possible).

Examples of complex tasks

Often, people who do not understand Microsoft Excel consider that complex tasks are just a search for results through ready-made functions. These include:

  • average;
  • amount;
  • condition of the number with a certain selection criteria;
  • hyperlink;
  • score;
  • maximum and minimum number;
  • sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent;
  • the sum of the numbers under some condition;
  • standard deviation option;
  • determining the amount of a recurring payment for an annuity.

linear programming tasksBut this is far from the case. Linear programming specializes in solving more complex problems with a clearly defined condition, where there may be several unknowns. Such tasks can be submitted not only in the form of a normal condition, but also in the form of graphs, functions, several tables or diagrams, and even in the form of conventional figures.

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