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Understanding Optimization

Optimization technology is based on applied mathematics and computer science, and is widely used to help business people make better decisions. It can quickly determine how to most effectively allocate resources, automatically balancing trade-offs and business constraints. It eliminates the need to manually work out plans and schedules, so you get maximum operational efficiency. You provide the information, and IBM ILOG Optimization does the work.

Why IBM ILOG Optimization?

IBM is a leader in the field of Operations Research, and specifically in the discipline of optimization. We offer some of the world's most advanced optimization technologies for solving tough business and research problems—longer than anyone. Our award-winning tools and engines speak for our high standards and belief in innovation. And we're always thinking of something new.

See for yourself why more than 1,000 universities use IBM ILOG Optimization for research and teaching, and more than 1,000 commercial customers, including over 160 of the Global 500, use IBM ILOG Optimization in some of their most important planning and scheduling applications.

Key benefits

How Optimization Works

Optimization technology helps organizations make better plans and schedules.

A model captures your complex planning or scheduling problem. Then a mathematical engine applies the model to a scenario find the best possible solution.

When optimization models are embedded in applications, planners and operations managers can perform what-if analysis, and compare scenarios.

Equipped with intelligent alternatives, you make better decisions, dramatically improving operational efficiency.

Optimization can help you:

There's no mystery to optimization. It's a straightforward process that achieves measurable results:

It all starts with an optimization model

An optimization model is a set of equations that define all of the components in a planning or scheduling problem, such as:

Mathematical Model(s) using one or many Optimization Engine(s)

Optimization engines produce plans or schedules

What's especially significant is the sheer amount of information that an optimization model can process. A well-built optimization model is capable of evaluating millions of possibilities, and recommending thousands of individual decisions.

An optimization model's output can take any number of forms. Examples include:

Plans and schedules deliver astonishing results

Nothing can prepare you for the effect optimization can have on operational efficiency. Plans or schedules you once labored over for days appear in just minutes—without errors. After you've integrated optimization into your planning and scheduling, your costs will be greatly reduced.

For example:

Often, optimization uncovers decisions you might never have considered. No one can analyze so many options, so fast. Optimization's speed gives you time to experiment with different assumptions. You're free to study a range of scenarios, applying your judgment to all your options.

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