Practical Optimization Chronicles

Welcome to a blog that bridges the realms of optimization, accessibility, and efficiency – a convergence that defines the essence … ChatGPT → out.

A long time ago, in a far far away university, a lone grad student embarked on a journey to explore the uncharted territory of some NP-hard problem. It worked somewhat, and somewhat not. But the grad student was not alone. A bunch of other grad students, researchers, and other professors were also exploring the same territory. They were all trying to find the best way to solve their problems. Some were using hammers to solve nails, others were using screwdrivers to solve screws. And believe me, a commercial solver is an expensive hammer, hard to handle with a C++ interface, specially when the nail is modeled as a screw, or worse, a nail with a screw head.

Facing such adversity, the grad student decided to create a new tool, a tool that would be easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to extend. In the Land of Optimization where the shadows lie, the grad student is forging the one tool to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. The one tool to rule them all and in the darkness find them. As time passed, the grad student join with others, became a postdoctoral fellow, and the tool became a framework. As longer time passed, the fellow became a senior researcher and the framework became a library. And now, the library is ready to come under the light.

This blog series takes you on an exploration of the optimization realm, specifically focusing on Constraint Programming. The concepts and ideas driving each step are explained using the Julia language, the JuMP.jl ecosystem, and the packages in JuliaConstraints as the foundational elements.

This journey highlights key aspects, including accessible and practical exploration of optimization and decision-making, connecting intricate concepts to user-friendly comprehension, and equipping readers with tools to harness optimization's potential in everyday situations.

Constraint Prologue - Navigating Decision-Making and Optimization

Welcome to Constraint Prologue! This is where we kick off our learning journey by diving into the world of decision-making and optimization. Imagine this as our initial roadmap, a guide to understanding the basics and setting the stage for the optimization adventure ahead. It's like starting with the foundations before we build the whole optimization house. Remember, this roadmap is like a flexible blueprint – it might change a bit as we go along, adapting to what we learn and explore. Our goal? To make optimization accessible and practical, whether you're a pro or just getting started. So, let's take that first step together, as we demystify optimization and bridge the gap between complex ideas and real-world solutions. Ready to dive in? Let's get started!

Constrained Parables - Stories of Practical Problem-Solving

Constrained Parables is where we delve into a series of real-life stories that showcase how optimization comes to life. These parables provide a glimpse into everyday scenarios where optimization techniques have a meaningful impact. Each story sheds light on how optimization shapes our decisions, highlighting the practical side of these concepts in relatable situations. If you're curious to see how optimization plays out in everyday life, join us as we explore the world of Constrained Parables. Let's uncover the practicality of optimization through relatable stories!

Our journey into decision-making and optimization is ongoing, a path of continuous learning and growth. Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated as we continue to explore new horizons. Join us in this shared pursuit of knowledge and discovery.