Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OpenOpt releases version 0.21

The developers of OpenOpt have released the newest version 0.21 to the masses on December 15. Main developer, Demitry, has listed some improvements such as NLP and NSP algorithm changes, converts between optimization problems, and an new OpenOpt GUI.

OpenOpt is a free and open source optimization tool kit software package. It is specifically developed for Python software language. Several models can be built with the OpenOpt kit including Linear, Quadratic, Non-linear, and Mix Integer Progamming problems. The purpose of OpenOpt is to bridge the gap between strong, powerful optimization software and rapid development and implementation.

OpenOpt has a new forum and location for their latest updates. Please follow this link to the Numerical Optimization Forum at

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The alternative Calc Optimization Solver

For those industrial engineers that use optimization tools for operations research you no doubt know about the Microsoft Excel Solver. An optimization tool embedded into a spreadsheet can be a real life saver. Linear programming problems can be developed rather rapidly. Concepts can be quickly tested. Applications can be delivered on a software platform that is rather ubiquitous. Yet is there an open source free software solution available?

Of course there is one available. The Calc Optimization Solver is available for use with the Open Office software suite. The modeler will no doubt recognize the similarities to the MS Excel Solver. Calc's Optimization Solver can tackle most linear programming scenarios. Problems can be developed by assigning Calc cells to variables or equations. Integrality can be set if an integer results are desired. Non-negativity can be set by just setting a flag in the Options menu.

Calc's Optimization Solver may not be the desired tool for serious optimization problems yet it can be real handy for most situations. Serious applications for business use can be developed with the Optimization Solver tool. The Calc Optimization Solver can also be used to help teach operations research lessons to peers and pupils.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More free software tools for Operations Research

I came across a site while looking for more GLPK (Gnu Linear Programming Kit) information. The site is Decision Tree for Optimization Software.

Decision Tree for Optimization Software

The site is great information for different types of software related to different types of problem sets such as Linear Programming, Non-linear programming, Multiobjective, Least Squares, etc. One could spend hours on this site alone just trying to draw conclusions for the type of software engine to solve an optimization problem.