Common Optimization Problems

An optimization problem is an abstract mathematical problem that appears in many different business contexts and across many different industries. Once a business problem has been identified, the next step is to identify one or more optimization problems types that must be solved as a result.

Overview of common optimization problem types

Optimization Problem Type Example Uses Description
Travelling Salesman Planning, Logistics, and the production of microchips The travelling salesman problem (TSP) asks the following question: Given a list of cities and the distances between each pair of cities, what is the shortest possible route that visits each city exactly once and returns to the origin city?
Vehicle Routing
Capacitated Arc Routing    
Network Design    
Network Flow    
Multicommodity Network Flow    
Set Covering    
Bin Packing    
Cutting Stock    
Unit Commitment    
Markowitz Portfolio Selection    
Lot Sizing    
Facility Location    
Quadratic Assignment    
Open Pit Mining    
Flow Shop Scheduling    
Job Shop Scheduling    
Open Shop Scheduling    
Combinatorial Auction    
Linear Regression