Jim,

I looked at PYOMO, but it is not very user friendly when compared to Frontline Systems’ Solver.

To give you an idea what optimization modelling is about, attached is an Excel basic transportation optimization model which uses Solver (Solver is a free Excel add-in that automatically comes with Excel).

Excel Solver is a limited version (200 decision variables, 100 constraints) for small to medium size optimization models.

Quantrix Modeler 2018 version also has an optimization engine called Solver, but it cannot solve integer models and it is not as user friendly as Excel Solver . Note, Pan X can do integer calculations, e.g. divide by , which appealed to me for optimization modelling.

If Pan X had an embedded optimization engine, such as Frontline Systems’ commercial version of Solver, it would open up Pan X to new business markets e.g. optimization Linear Programming (LP) and Non-linear Programming (NLP) models, Queuing Theory models, network models e.g. solving the Travelling Salesman problem, Transportation problems, Monte Carlo simulations models, advertising models, etc. The target customers would be CEO’s, engineers, scientists, Operations Research consultants, Universities teaching MBA courses, etc.

Perhaps a licensing agreement with Frontline Systems (www.solver.com) to have Solver as a free add-in in Pan X may be an option.

Ideally, PYOMO (it is open source and with an unlimited number of decision variables and constraints) could be coded in Pan X with Pan X data entry dialogs which are similar to Excel Solver. This would make Pan X unique in the Mac OSX world and would justify the cost of ownership in buying a Mac instead of a Windows computer. At present, Windows computers dominate the optimization market.

The optimization market is very large in the US and Europe. Many Fortune 500 companies use optimization models to maximize profit, minimize cost, minimize time, minimize distance, etc. For example, Kellogs’ optimization model has been in operation since the 1980’s to reduce production, inventory and distribution costs, etc., by approximately $35 to $40 million per year.

References:

Professors Winston and Albright of Indiana University – book is “Practical Management Science” 5^{th} edition.

Professor Albright of Indiana University – book “VBA for Modelers, Developing Decision Support Systems with Microsoft Office Excel” 5^{th} edition.

Professor Cliff T. Ragsdale of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – book is “ Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis” 7^{th} edition.

Regards,

Frank Wade