Mathematical Optimization


In mathematics, statistics, empirical sciences, computer science, or management science, mathematical optimization (alternatively, optimization or mathematical programming) is the selection of a best element (with regard to some criteria) from some set of available alternatives.

In the simplest case, an optimization problem consists of maximizing or minimizing a real function by systematically choosing input values from within an allowed set and computing the value of the function. The generalization of optimization theory and techniques to other formulations comprises a large area of applied mathematics. More generally, optimization includes finding "best available" values of some objective function given a defined domain, including a variety of different types of objective functions and different types of domains.