UT Arlington industrial engineers
have patented an innovative method that can obtain optimal decisions for a broad
class of real-world problems not previously solvable.
Bill Corley and Jay Rosenberger,
professor and associate professor in the Industrial & Manufacturing Systems
Department, were recently issued a patent entitled “System, Method and
Apparatus for Allocating Resources by Constraint Selection.”
Linear programming is a mathematical
description of a vast number of decision problems occurring throughout the
business and scientific worlds. Solving these problems allows an organization
to maximize profit, minimize costs or allocate resources.
“Linear programming is the most widely used
computational model in the business and scientific worlds,” Corley said. “It
will now become much more important. That’s the bottom line. We drastically
improved over 60 years of research for computing with this ubiquitous decision
In logistical applications,
linear programming solutions are needed to transport materials and people
efficiently. In the telecommunications industry they can route either data or
cars in transit to their destinations in the quickest manner. Linear
programming also is used in statistics and the sciences as a computational
The newly patented approach to
solving linear programming problems uses a process called Constraint Optimal
Selection Techniques, or COSTs, to reduce the number of calculations needed to make
an optimal decision thousands of times faster for large decision problems with
huge numbers of solution variables and restrictions on these variables.
“It will allow faster decision-making
in today’s high-speed, high-tech, ever-accelerating world,” Corley said.
Rosenberger added that new
approach expands the applications of linear programming. It can solve enormous
problems for which previous methods could take months of computer time.
“It will also give answers to
currently unsolvable nonlinear decision problems by approximating them with
enormous linear programming problems,” Rosenberger noted.
Jean-Pierre Bardet said the patent represents the kind of
research that benefits not just the industrial engineering
discipline but any scientific and engineering field in search of
optimal solutions for complex problems.
“It becomes the ultimate
computing tool,” Bardet said.
The patent is an example of the
kind of research that’s under way at The University of Texas at Arlington, a
comprehensive research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North
Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.