In this article, we will explore linear programming through the lens of the Furniture Factory Problem. By formulating this problem as a linear programming model, we can maximize total revenue while respecting resource constraints. So let’s dive into the details and learn how linear programming can be applied to solve real-world problems.


The Furniture Factory Problem

Imagine a furniture factory that produces chairs and tables. The goal is to develop a production plan that maximizes the total revenue while considering the available resources. The following information is provided:

  • Selling price of a chair: \$45
  • Selling price of a table: \$80
  • Available resources:
    • Mahogany: 400 units
    • Labor: 450 hours

The data scientist estimates the resource requirements for each product:

  • One chair requires 5 units of mahogany and 10 hours of labor.
  • One table requires 20 units of mahogany and 15 hours of labor.


Decision Variables

To create a production plan, we need to determine the number of chairs (x1) and the number of tables (x2) to produce. These decision variables represent the quantities we can control to maximize revenue. For this problem, x1 and x2 must be non-negative values (greater than or equal to 0).


Objective Function

The objective is to maximize the total revenue generated by the production of chairs and tables. The revenue from chairs can be calculated as 45×1, where 45 represents the selling price per chair. Similarly, the revenue from tables is 80×2, where 80 represents the selling price per table. Therefore, the objective function is:

Maximize: Revenue = 45×1 + 80×2


Resource Constraints

To ensure the production plan does not exceed the available resources, we impose constraints on mahogany and labor capacity.

  1. Mahogany constraint
    The total amount of mahogany consumed by chairs and tables combined should not exceed the available 400 units. Considering 5×1 as the mahogany consumption for chairs and 20×2 as the consumption for tables, the constraint can be expressed as:5×1 + 20×2 ≤ 400
  1. Labor constraint
    The total labor consumed by chairs and tables combined should not exceed the available 450 hours. With 10×1 representing the labor consumption for chairs and 15×2 for tables, the constraint can be expressed as:10×1 + 15×2 ≤ 450


Non-Negative Constraint

To maintain the feasibility of the production plan, the decision variables x1 and x2 must be non-negative:

x1, x2 ≥ 0


Final Linear Programming Formulation

Taking into account the objective function, resource constraints, and non-negative constraint, the Furniture Factory Problem can be formulated as a linear programming problem:

Maximize: Revenue = 45×1 + 80×2

Subject to:

  • 5×1 + 20×2 ≤ 400 (Mahogany constraint)
  • 10×1 + 15×2 ≤ 450 (Labor constraint)
  • x1, x2 ≥ 0 (Non-negative constraint)



Linear programming offers a systematic approach to solving optimization problems, such as the Furniture Factory Problem. By formulating the problem as a linear programming model, we can determine the optimal production plan that maximizes revenue while considering resource limitations. In this article, we introduced the concept of linear programming, explained the Furniture Factory Problem, and provided a step-by-step guide on formulating the problem mathematically. With this understanding, you can explore advanced techniques and algorithms to solve more complex real-world problems using linear programming.



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