COMP 566   Autumn 2008       Course Announcements

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End of term feedback session  (free beer) at Thomson House, 3650 McTavish, from 4:30 pm Thurs Nov. 27

Assignment 4 is posted, due Dec 2 in MC232.

2008.11.11 Two lectures will be given by Mike Saunders, Nov 14 and 17. Details.
2008.11.11  Note presentations start Tuesday Nov. 18. Presentations are for 15 minutes plus 5 mins for questions. Schedule
2008.11.11  There will be one more assignment, due at the end of term.
2008.11.4  Extra office hours: Wed Nov 5 10-12 noon, McConnell 308.
2008.11.3  For question 3(b) you need to find bounds on the number of radios so that the basis of the final dictionary found in 3(a) remains an optimum basis.

2008.10.22 Second class test will be on Thurs. Nov. 6. Assignment 3 is posted. (Revised 2008.10.22)

Class test will be on Thursday October 9.
2008.9.24: Assignment 2 is posted and due October 7, beginning of class. We will review the assignment in class.
2008.9.10: Assignment 1 is posted and due September 23 in class. Minor clarifications September 17.

Teaching Assistant: Conor Meagher
Office: MC232
email: cmeagh1 at
By appointment

Course software

Getting a computer account: go to one of the Gentoo/linux machines in the Trottier building 3rd floor:

Use login name: newuser    password: newuser

In the course we make use of the packages maple, lp_solve, cplex and lrs. All are installed on Gentoo/linux
machines in Trottier:,         i=2,6,7 and 1<=j<=20     
You can connect remotely by ssh:   eg:    ssh

If you do not find the software,  try typing: %source /usr/socs/Cshrc
You will need to set the path for some of the software.

cplex     path: /usr/local/bin/cplex-10 

Usage: You need to set an environment variable, then type cplex-10 at the prompt. Follow these instructions.
Other documentation for cplex can be found here and here.

maple        path: /usr/local/bin/maple
A maple session that shows how to solve systems of equations is here.

lp_solve         path: /usr/bin/lp_solve
This free program can be used to solve linear or integer linear programs.

Usage: lp_solve -S4 < input_file       (-S4 option gives dual variables)

Some examples input and output files are here.
The man page is here.

The full package is available for download from the lp_solve  home page.

A nice help page with DOS executable is available at:

lrs         path: /usr/bin/glrs    (glrs uses a faster arithmetic package than lrs, otherwise the same)
This program computes all of the extreme points (and extreme rays if any) of the
feasible region of an LP. Home page is:

Zimpl    free modelling tool for LPs and ILPs (constraint
generator to lp or mps formats).
It is easy to learn and use. On page 16 of the documentation
( you will find Chvatal's
diet problem as an example.

Coin-Or   Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research
-->"an open-source community for operations research software in order
to speed development and deployment of models, algorithms, and cutting-edge
computational research." It has some neat cut generators for solving ILPs.

Symphony    Open source Mixed ILP solver that implements branch and cut
-->it s very customizable and is part of COIN-OR. If you tweak things
right, you will solve tough ILPs faster than CPLEX can. You can even
implement your own cuts.

  SOCS computer labs wiki is at

 Some pointers for those looking for projects:

Informs Search of Annual Comprehensive Index Bibliographic Database

ORMS today

Prof. Goffin's home page

Journals to check:
Mathematical Programming, Operations Research, Networks,
INFORS, Interfaces, Management Science