Linear optimisation (often referred to as linear programming) is not cutting edge or new. It has been around for a very long time. It was first introduced within the field of operational research during World War II, where it was used to help minimise costings. The method proposed for solving these problems is known as the simplex method, and it hasn’t changed much today. Although this method hasn’t changed significantly, what has changed significantly is the computing power and accessibility of this technique, allowing these methods to be used on very complex scenarios with almost a click of a button. Convenient libraries have allowed the intricate complexities of setting these problems up on a computer to be simplified.
Read on for an example of linear programming. This is something I’ve always enjoyed, but haven’t had many places to use this technique in my professional career. That said, shout out to everyone who’s ever used LINGO.