Case Studies in Optimization

Optimization is an important tool in making decisions and analyzing systems across a wide variety of disciplines in business, engineering, and science. Here we feature NEOS-related case studies as well as links to case studies on other websites. The typical NEOS case study includes a problem description, a mathematical formulation, an approach for solving the problem, and an interpretation of the results. In some cases, the case study is interactive, meaning that the user can experiment with aspects of the problem and solve multiple instances using the NEOS Server. Case studies using GAMS MIRO have also been made available. For best results, we recommend using Firefox for the interactive case studies. The case studies are grouped into subject areas for easy reference.

The first NEOS case studies were developed in the late 1990s to show how optimization relates to practical applications. Some of the original case studies are described in the paper:

  • Optimization Case Studies in the NEOS Guide by J. Czyzyk, T. Wisniewski, and S. J. Wright in Siam Review 41(1): 148-163 (1999).

The collection of NEOS case studies has grown over the years and continues to grow with the contributions of students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Biology and Medicine

Bioengineering can be thought of as the application of engineering principles and techniques to biology and medicine. The scope of the field is broad, ranging from the development of prosthetics and specialized medical devices to the study of cellular chemical production. This case study collection features bioengineering applications in which optimization plays a key role...

Economics and Game Theory

Making optimal use of scarce resources is the central theme of economics; constrained optimization lies at the heart of many economic applications. Roger Myerson (Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict, Harvard University Press, 1991) defines game theory as "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers"; optimization theory plays an important...

Electricity and Power

This page contains a simple example of an energy mix generation model and a more extensive suite of models to facilitate optimal power flows.

Machine Learning and AI

This collection includes optimization examples of machine learning and AI.

Optimization Methodology

These case studies highlight the field of linear programming (LP) from two perspectives. Simplex Pivot Tools Developed by George Dantzig in 1947, the simplex method is a general procedure for solving linear programming (LP) problems. The simplex method is an algebraic procedure based on solving systems of equations; it has proved to be very efficient...

Puzzles and Games

This collection includes a number of logic puzzle applets and presents approaches for modeling and solving them as optimization problems.

Supply Chain

Supply Chain Management became a popular term in the mid-1990s but, even today, no clear definition of the term has emerged. Instead, for most academics and practitioners, supply chain management is a broad term that covers many functions, including but not limited to manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation, as well as supplier relationship management, inventory management,...