Mr./Ms. Math Professor:
WhatsOPtimal Mission Statement: Help create
awareness of linear optimization among young students by providing a simple
effective method of performing computer based mathematical analysis through
linear programming. Unicode capable, making WhatsOP available in 30 languages for the worldwide students. WhatsOP
helps students understand the concept of choosing between alternative uses of
resources. These decisions are designed to either maximize the profits or to
WhatsOP is an economic planning system designed to be easy
to use and easy to understand. It is completely self-contained for use in a
Windows PC planning environment.
UNIQUE CONCEPT OF MODELING:
WhatsOP uses a unique concept of mathematical modeling,
which eliminates the need for a mathematician-analyst to setup a planning
model. The model in WhatsOP is not represented
through mathematical equations and relations, (although the capability to do so
is fully supported) but rather through material flow representations where a
material accumulates cost and value-add as the material moves from production,
distribution and the market place. This flow of the material and the cost it
accumulates is the input model for WhatsOP. This is the reason why new students will find
the system appealing.
representations are WhatsOP's suggested modeling
procedure. But the student will see the
corresponding mathematical formulation of the problem, another advantage of the
system as a training tool.
economic plan usually can be best represented by a material flow diagram as the
product moves from production, distribution and the marketplace. The product
will accumulate cost through raw materials, services, other ingredients, energy cost and storage-transportation expenses. Raw
materials, resources, services, storage, transportation and time availability
of machinery, processes and methods will all be consumed and/or shared by the
evolving product/or products. With this literal description of how a product is
produced, distributed and sold, the complex and technical disciplines needed to
use mathematical modeling systems are eliminated.
WhatsOP also simplifies the complexity of analyzing
multiple scenario (what-if) analysis conveniently for the student. The student
can produce a report which shows all the production volumes and cost for all
the scenarios (what-if) analyses all in one report page. This is accomplished
through a specially tailored database management system with a template-driven
report writing capability. All reports and displays are created through
templates, and presented using the supplied text editor Notepad++.
Is WhatsOP and its solution mathematically accurate to be
usefull to students of linear algebra, already exposed to more complex methods
of mathematical modeling? Maybe NOT, and
some professors may comment that it is a simple “math toy”. In
the real world, not all variables react in straight lines, and WhatsOP LP solver may not be the best algorithm around. But, in WhatsOP, the
emphasis is on the what-if analysis, to illustrate the use of linear algebra as
a decision making tool. In this realm,
it is all "relative", and uses the same underlining factors, which will cancel themselves out, i.e. the
math model and the LP solver. So for creating awareness of linear optimization WhatsOP does a very good job.
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