Author: Pano Santos, PhD
If you are in the business world, chances are that you’ve heard of mathematical optimization. You probably know that – for more than 50 years – world-class companies across a wide variety of industries have been utilizing mathematical optimization technologies to solve their toughest business problems, make optimal decisions, and achieve their business goals.
But have you ever actually used a mathematical optimization application? Chances are, you haven’t.
You might wonder why – if mathematical optimization is so well-established – so many people have never actually touched mathematical optimization technologies.
The reason is simple: There is a widespread perception that mathematical optimization applications are complicated and difficult to use (unless you have experience and expertise in mathematically programming). A few decades ago, that may have been the case, but now – with the latest ease-of-use improvements and user-friendly interfaces – an average businessperson can make use of these applications and leverage the power of mathematical optimization to solve real-world problems and make the best possible decisions.
It’s true that the mathematical optimization solvers that are embedded into the applications are incredibly sophisticated pieces of technology, capable of rapidly combing through an astronomical number of possible solutions and finding the optimal one. But these solvers function behind the scenes as a “black-box” and the average business user of the application doesn’t know (or need to know) what they are doing.
Think of a mathematical optimization solver as being like the engine of that car (and the application as the car itself) – you don’t need to know how the engine works in order to drive the car.
And just like you would take a car for a test-drive to see how it performs, you can try using a mathematical optimization application to experience the power of optimization in action. It is precisely for this reason that we created the Optimization Application Demos.
These new Optimization Application Demos are designed to give you a sense of what it’s like to use a real-world mathematical optimization application. Each demo is essentially a proof-of-concept of an application that addresses a challenging and high-value business problem of a particular industry. Of course, in the real-word business environment, mathematical optimization applications are much more sophisticated than these demos – but, nevertheless, the demos do give you a taste of what mathematical optimization can do.
The purpose of these new Optimization Application Demos is to:
· Showcase the business value of mathematical optimization across various industries and business areas (including resource management, finance, production operations, strategic network design, energy distribution).
· Demonstrate how mathematical optimization can be used to complement and augment machine learning techniques.
· Provide an engaging and interactive tool that puts the power of mathematical optimization at your fingertips.
We have created a number of different demos, each of which is relevant to a particular industry and business area.
For example, our Resource Matching Optimization Demo illustrates how mathematical optimization (in combination with machine learning) can enable companies in the service sector to get the most out their most valuable assets – their employees – by assigning the resources with the right skill sets to the right job at the right time, location, and cost.
Our Facility Location Demo, Cell Tower Coverage Demo, and Offshore Wind Farming Demo show how mathematical optimization can be used to determine the best way to configure your network (of warehouses, cell towers, or wind turbines) to maximize demand fulfillment while minimizing costs.
And our Cutting Stock Demo and Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) Demo showcase how mathematical optimization can be used to rapidly solve classic (and challenging) optimization problems – which are relevant to the manufacturing and logistics industries, respectively.
All of these as well as our other Optimization Application Demos give you a sense of how easy it is to utilize mathematical optimization applications and how these applications can be used to address a vast array of business problems in different industries – and empower users to make optimal business decisions.
One of the best ways to get a grasp on something is to experience it – or “learn by doing” as Aristotle said. Our Optimization Application Demos enable you to do just that: Utilize mathematical optimization to address real-world problems and experience the power of mathematical optimization in action.
Try our Optimization Application Demos to get a real feel for how mathematical optimization can be applied across various industries, and gain an understanding of why more and more companies are investing in mathematical optimization technologies.
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