An effective mathematical method for allocating scarce resources optimally among several activities or goals is linear programming. In cases where there are restrictions and objectives that can be articulated linearly, it offers a methodical approach to decision-making. \
This manual intends to give a thorough introduction to linear programming, covering its concept, elements, formulation, methods of solution, and practical applications. Read what is linear programming below;
Definition and Basic Ideas: The mathematical optimization technique known as “linear programming” seeks the best solution in a mathematical model that is constrained by linear relationships.
The word “linear” refers to the fact that the objective function and all of the associated restrictions have linear properties. Under the restrictions of linear functions, the goal is to maximize or minimize the linear function of the variables. The constraints serve as restrictions or limitations on the variables, which serve as decision variables.
Basic linear programming ideas include the following:
- Decision Variables: To optimize the objective function, these unknowable quantities must be identified.
- This function, called the objective function, shows the quantity that needs to be increased or decreased. The choice variables’ linear relationship with it is usual.
- The restrictions or limits placed on the decision variables are referred to as constraints. They are portrayed as linear equations or inequalities and can be inequalities or equalities.
What Makes Linear Programming Work?
There are three main parts to linear programming issues:
- Determinable quantities or actions are referred to as decision variables. X1, X2,…, Xn are decision variables that can reflect values like production levels, resource allocation, or any other pertinent aspects.
- The objective function identifies the problem’s objective, which may be to maximize revenue, reduce expenses, or accomplish any other desired result. The choice variables are typically combined linearly to form the objective function.
- Limitations or restrictions on the choice factors are represented by constraints. There are two different kind of constraints: equality constraints and inequality constraints. Linear equations are used to represent equality constraints, whereas linear inequalities are used to indicate inequality constraints.
Linear programming problem formulation:
The steps below must be taken in order to formulate an issue involving linear programming:
Identify the decision variables in step 1: Determine the necessary quantities or activities and give them the relevant symbols (x1, x2,…, xn).
Step 2: Specify the goal function. Clearly state whether the objective of the task is to maximize or minimize a specific number. The choice variables are combined linearly to form the objective function.
Establish the limitations in Step 3: The constraints or limitations on the choice variables should be identified and expressed as linear equations or inequalities.
Describe the non-negativity constraints in step 4: The decision variables in many linear programming issues are non-negative, which means they cannot take negative values. For each decision variable, multiply the non-negativity conditions (xi >= 0) by 1.
Solution Techniques for Linear Programming: There are various techniques for solving problems involving linear programming, including:
- Graphical Approach: This approach is appropriate for issues involving two choice variables. To obtain the best answer, the restrictions and the objective function are graphed on a coordinate plane.
- The simplex technique is an iterative algorithm for solving linear programming issues that involve any quantity of choice variables. Up until the best solution is found, it advances methodically from one vertex of the viable region to the next.
- Interior Point Techniques: These techniques are founded on the idea that the best solution should be located within the feasible region rather than near its edge. For problems involving linear programming on a large scale, interior point approaches are frequently effective.
- Dual Simplex Method: When a problem has an impractical or an unlimited optimal solution, this method, which is a version of the simplex method, is utilized.
Applications of Linear Programming in the Real World: Linear programming is used in a variety of domains, such as:
- Operations research is used to optimize issues with resource allocation, inventory management, and production planning.
- Transportation and logistics: Linear programming aids in route optimization, delivery scheduling, and effective resource allocation.
- Asset allocation, risk management, and portfolio optimization are all aided by financial planning.
- Production procedures, employee scheduling, and resource allocation in the industrial sector are all improved through linear programming.
- Agriculture: It helps to maximize land use, livestock feed distribution, and crop planning.
- Energy Management: Power generation, distribution, and resource allocation all use linear programming.
Benefits and Drawbacks:
The following are benefits of linear programming:
- Mathematical decision-making optimization: Linear programming offers a disciplined and methodical methodology.
- Resource allocation that is efficient helps to maximize effectiveness and reduce waste by doing so.
- Versatility: A variety of real-world issues can be solved using linear programming.
Among the drawbacks of linear programming are:
- Linear relationships between variables are assumed in linear programming, but this may not always be the case.
- Complexity: Large-scale linear programming problems can be difficult to formulate and solve from a computational standpoint.
- Sensitivity to input parameters: The best solution may alter significantly when small changes in input parameters are made.
In conclusion, linear programming is a potent mathematical method for improving judgment when goals and constraints are present. Linear programming offers a methodical method for effectively allocating limited resources by articulating problems with choice variables, an objective function, and restrictions.
It has broad applicability in many different sectors and provides a variety of ways for finding the best answers. Individuals and organizations can make wise and effective judgments in real-world situations by having a solid understanding of the linear programming’s components, formulation, and solution techniques.