As optimization techniques have developed, a gap has arisen between the people devising the methods and the people who actually need to use them. Research into methods is necessarily long-term and located usually in academic establishments; whereas the application of an optimization technique, normally in an industrial environment, has to be justified financially in the short term. The gap is probably inevitable; but there is no need for textbooks to reflect it. Teaching of optimization techniques separately from their connection with applications is pointless. This book gives a detailed exposition of the techniques.
In this first volume, T. A. J. Nicholson demonstrates the full range of techniques available to the practitioner for the solution of varying problems. For each technique, the background reasoning behind its development is explained in simple terms; where helpful it is supported by a geometrical argument; and the iterative algorithm for finding the optimum is defined clearly. These steps enable the reader not only to see plainly what is happening in the method but also to reach a level of understanding necessary to write computer programs for optimization techniques.
Problems are tackled in the same way--by searching a feasible region for an optimum. This approach helps the reader to develop the most essential of all skills--selecting appropriate techniques for different circumstances. The numerous worked examples in the text, supported by worked solutions, and the exercises at the end of the chapters are important aids to learning and to teachers. This book serves as an introduction to optimization techniques for students as well as a reference work for the practitioner in business and industry.