Systems Optimization

A chart demonstrating a network formulation in terms of monthly production, inventory and demand.

Example of a network formulation. (Courtesy of Prof. John Vande Vate.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2003



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

Managers and engineers are constantly attempting to optimize, particularly in the design and operation of complex systems. This course is an application-oriented introduction to (systems) optimization. It seeks to:

  • Motivate the use of optimization models to support managers and engineers in a wide variety of decision making situations;
  • Show how several application domains (industries) use optimization;
  • Introduce optimization modeling and solution techniques (including linear, non-linear, integer, and network optimization, and heuristic methods);
  • Provide tools for interpreting and analyzing model-based solutions (sensitivity and post-optimality analysis, bounding techniques); and
  • Develop the skills required to identify the opportunity and manage the implementation of an optimization-based decision support tool.

Related Content

John Vate. 15.057 Systems Optimization, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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