Google releases, open sources tools for linear optimization

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Google has built a linear optimization add-on for its Google Drive spreadsheet application, as well as an associated API for developers. It also open sourced the underlying code via a project called “Glop.” As the company explains in a blog post, “Any time you have a set of linear constraints such as ‘at least 50 square meters of solar panels’ … along with a linear goal (e.g., ‘minimize cost’ or ‘maximize customers served’), that’s a linear optimization problem.” Google, for example, used linear optimization to solve shakiness on YouTube videos. Earlier this month, it open sourced an R library for inferring causation from correlative data.

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