I don't think I can use Excel. My solver doesn't work so I can't even use Excel for regular linear programming.

Something like this but for integer or goal programming.

This seems to allow integer programming, but it doesn't work sometimes. Any alternatives?

asked 05 Apr '16, 06:44

BCLC's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 08 Apr '16, 06:13


For the sake of answers that will actually address your request: (1) are you (a) exclusively looking for web services, or (b) would you also be happy with an "offline" alternative to Excel solver, (2) do you require a spreadsheet interface (resp., are you familiar with the term "algebraic modeling language"), (3) commercial or educational application?

(05 Apr '16, 13:33) fbahr ♦

PS: Oh wait, my bad, let's forget about no 1 -- since you've already answered that in the title of your question. Stupid me.

(05 Apr '16, 15:20) fbahr ♦

@fbahr I am open to web services. The one I linked doesn't seem to work for integer programming. I might be using it wrong.

(08 Apr '16, 01:58) BCLC

@fbahr Is there really nothing for integer or goal programming like the ones I linked above?

(08 Apr '16, 11:33) BCLC

The Wikipedia page for goal programming list LiPS and LINSOLVE as candidates for solving GP models. I checked LiPS and it worked fine for solving integer GP models (it has a simple and nice GUI as well). Also, keep in mind that converting GP models to their linear counterparts is pretty straightforward. Therefore, as long as you have a good LP or ILP solver, there is no need for a dedicated GP solver.


answered 08 Apr '16, 11:48

Ehsan's gravatar image

Ehsan ♦
accept rate: 16%

(Third moderator => C-c-combo breaker?) Thanks Ehsan ♦ ^-^ I'll try those out now. Wait what do you mean? You can answer GP problems with LP solvers? Like the LP solver I linked?

(08 Apr '16, 12:15) BCLC

I tried out LiPS! It's brilliant! Precisely for what I was looking! Thanks a million Ehsan ♦ ^-^

(08 Apr '16, 12:21) BCLC

The lesson learned is that you should always check the Wikipedia first. Good luck!

(08 Apr '16, 12:37) Ehsan ♦

GP uses absolute terms to compute deviations from the goals. Of course, the absolute term can be linearized easily. After that, you could solve your model using any LP or ILP solver. The difference is that LiPS or similar software do this linearization for you automatically.

I suggest you check a textbook to learn about the necessary modeling techniques employed in GP. A good start is freely available from here.

(08 Apr '16, 12:43) Ehsan ♦

Thanks Ehsan ^-^

(08 Apr '16, 13:12) BCLC

Do you have an account in Math SE or something? I would like to gift you a bounty

(11 Apr '16, 02:13) BCLC
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

Web site: NEOS Server for Optimization

Software (free): There are quite a few free LP/IP solvers out there -- too many to enumerate. Many are designed as software libraries, and require your coding a front-end. Since you mentioned <grimace>Excel</grimace>, you might be interested OpenSolver, essentially a drop-in replacement/upgrade for the version of Frontline Solver that ships with Excel.


answered 05 Apr '16, 15:45

Paul%20Rubin's gravatar image

Paul Rubin ♦♦
accept rate: 19%

Thanks Paul Rubin ♦. Where in the NEOS Server can I find integer or goal programming? I tried looking around, but I apparently have to upload files or something.

(08 Apr '16, 10:57) BCLC

If you click the Help button, it will walk you through the process, which requires setting up a (free) account. The user guide contains all the necessary details. What you upload is a file containing your problem, in one of the supported formats. Check https://neos-server.org/neos/solvers/index.html for a list of MILP solvers and file formats. I don't think they have any goal programming solvers; you may need to reformulate to a single objective.

(08 Apr '16, 11:08) Paul Rubin ♦♦

Is there really nothing for integer or goal programming like the ones I linked above?

(08 Apr '16, 11:34) BCLC

If it has to be free of charge I have used lp_solve a couple of times. If it should be spreadsheet based there is solverstudio. In this previous question you can also find a list different optimization software fora. It contains many software packages that can handle linear mixed integer programming problems.


answered 05 Apr '16, 15:43

Sune's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Thanks Sune. I'll try out lp_solve in R, I guess. Is there really nothing for integer or goal programming like the ones I linked above?

(08 Apr '16, 12:06) BCLC

Lp_solve also solves ILPs.

(09 Apr '16, 01:13) Sune
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Asked: 05 Apr '16, 06:44

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Last updated: 11 Apr '16, 02:13

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