optimization

optimization

[op-tuh-muh-zey-shuhn]

Field of applied mathematics whose principles and methods are used to solve quantitative problems in disciplines including physics, biology, engineering, and economics. Questions of maximizing or minimizing functions arising in the various disciplines can be solved using the same mathematical tools (see maximum; minimum). In a typical optimization problem, the goal is to find the values of controllable factors determining the behaviour of a system (e.g., a physical production process, an investment scheme) that maximize productivity or minimize waste. The simplest problems involve functions (systems) of a single variable (input factor) and may be solved with differential calculus. Linear programming was developed to solve optimization problems involving two or more input variables. Seealso simplex method.

Learn more about optimization with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Optimization or optimality is a term that may refer to:

For discussion of optimality in economics, see utility or efficiency (economics). See also Pareto efficiency (a synonym for "Pareto optimality").

Optimum Releasing is a film and DVD distribution company based in the UK.

Optimum TV is the brand name of a suite of digital media services offered by Cablevision Systems Corporation.

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