What are some uses of linear programming?

1 Answer
May 19, 2017

Linear programming is process which allows the best use to be made of resources available.


In this way the profit can be maximised and the costs minimised.

This is done by expressing available resources - such as vehicles, money, time, people, space, farm animals etc as inequalities.

By graphing the inequalities and shading unwanted/impossible areas, the ideal combination of the resources will be in a common unshaded area.

For example, a transport company might have a small delivery vehicle and a big truck.

The small vehicle:

  • is cheaper to buy and uses less fuel
  • spares and services are cheaper
  • access, mobility and parking in a city is easier
  • the driver does not need a special license

However, it can only take small loads.

The big truck:

  • can take big loads of goods at a time

However, it is expensive to buy, run and maintain.
Special driving license required
Difficult to drive through cities to fetch goods. etc.

The company could use linear programming to decide at which point its is more cost-effective to use the big truck rather than using the small truck for several trips.