# Is there a mathematical approach to optimizing given these conditions?

The idea is you have a set of things that you know and a problem to solve. Sometimes you think you know enough but are wrong. Sometimes you think you don't know enough but are wrong. In one case you should have taken the time to learn more. In the other case you could have finished sooner if you got straight to work instead of learning something new.

I started thinking about this and made a list. I'm curious if there are mathematical models that resemble it.

• You want to move from point A to point B through a non fixed set of obstacles.

• You have a starting set of tools.

• You have a fixed amount of time.

• Obtaining a tool takes time.

• Using a tool takes time.

• Tools can eliminate obstacles.

• Tools can create obstacles.

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The discipline you are probably looking for is called Operations research. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_research – Adam Feb 21 '12 at 20:57
i would mark this the answer, unless this really isn't a math question i won't be offended if deleted, thanks for the help... – Aaron Anodide Feb 22 '12 at 17:03