Optimization is the process of choosing the "best" value among possible values. They are often formulated as questions on the minimization/maximization of functions, with or without constraints.

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355 views

If $A+B+C+D+E = 540^\circ$ what is $\min (\cos A+\cos B+\cos C+\cos D+\cos E)$?

Let each of $A, B, C, D, E$ be an angle that is less than $180^\circ$ and is greater than $0^\circ$. Note that each angle can be neither $0^\circ$ nor $180^\circ$. If $A+B+C+D+E = 540^\circ,$ what is ...
14
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1answer
381 views

Arnol'd's trivium problem #68

I came across this blog that says that its French version has answers to most of Arnol'd's trivium problems, and I figured I'd try my hand at some of the ones they don't have. Number 68 raised my ...
12
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3answers
588 views

Formula for picking time closest to (but after) target

Let's say you have an arbitrary length of time. You are playing a game in which you want to push a button during this time span after a light comes on. If you do so, you win ($+1$), if not, you lose ...
6
votes
2answers
402 views

How to explain lagrange multipliers to a lay audience?

So I will be giving a seminar to a scientifically mature lay audience (think bio/social science undergrad level). I have been told that I should count on less than half the audience to have experience ...
18
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2answers
226 views

Time-optimal control to the origin for two first order ODES - Trying to take control as we speak!

I want to find the time optimal control to the origin of the system: $$\dot{x}_1 = 3x_1+ x_2$$ $$\dot{x}_2 = 4x_1 + 3x_2 + u$$ where $|u|\leq 1$ I ran straight into the problem full strength, hit it ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Why is convexity more important than quasi-convexity in optimization?

In the mathematical optimization literature it is common to distinguish problems according to whether or not they are convex. The reason seems to be that convex problems are guaranteed to have ...
10
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1answer
363 views

Maximum subset sum of $d$-dimensional vectors

This is a $d$-dimensional generalisation of the post Inequality with Complex Numbers. (See my comment under Robert Israel's answer.) Generalising Potato's proof for $d$-dimensions, we can show the ...
7
votes
2answers
484 views

Graph theory problem (edge-disjoint matchings)

Find the smallest number $x$ so that if an $n$-vertex simple graph has at least $x$ edges then it contains $k$ pairwise edge-disjoint perfect matchings* ($k$ is a positive integer, $n$ is an even ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

$a,b,c>0,a+b+c=21$ prove that $a+\sqrt{ab} +\sqrt[3]{abc} \leq 28$

$a,b,c>0,a+b+c=21$ prove that $a+\sqrt{ab} +\sqrt[3]{abc} \leq 28$ I have tried to use AM-GM inequality, but get no result as follows: $$a+\sqrt{ab}+\sqrt[3]{abc}\leq ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Calculating the max and min of $\sin(x)+\sin(y)+\sin(z)$

I took the partial derivatives of $\sin(x)+\sin(y)+\sin(z)$ and it didn't work out, so I am trying to use Lagrange's method (with the constraint: $x+y+z=\pi$)... I am not sure how to set this up. ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Best fit ellipsoid

Given a collection of points $P \subset \mathbb R^3$, a crude characterization of the "shape" of $P$ is sometimes given by the principal components. We construct a covariance matrix, e.g., if $P$ is ...
9
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6answers
550 views

Finding the largest triangle inscribed in the unit circle

Among all triangles inscribed in the unit circle, how can the one with the largest area be found?
7
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2answers
2k views

What are the advantages of dual of a problem

I am studying linear programming and I came across primal-dual algorithm in Linear Programming. I understood it but I am unable ...
6
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1answer
72 views

Proving the existence of $b$ such that $\prod_{k=1}^n(1-\cos(a_k-b))=\frac{1}{2^n}$

Let $n>0$ and $a_1,\ldots,a_n\in \mathbb R$. Prove there is some $b$ such that $\prod_{k=1}^n(1-\cos(a_k-b))=\frac{1}{2^n}$ This is motivated by this question Finding a point on the unit ...
5
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2answers
305 views

What numerical methods are known to solve $L_1$ regularized quadratic programming problems?

What numerical methods are suitable to solve the following problem $$\min_x \tfrac{1}{2}x^T A x + b^Tx + \lambda ||x||_1$$ where $x,b\in\mathbf{R}^n$, and $A\in \mathbf{R}^{n\times n}$ is positive ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Maximizing the volume of a rectangular prism

A rectangular prism has a surface area of $300$ square inches. What whole number dimensions give the prism the greatest volume? This is a math olympiad problem. It involves the volume and surface ...
4
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1answer
358 views

Derivation of Euler-Lagrange equation

Here is a simple (probably trivial) step in the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation. If we denote $Y(x) = y(x) + \epsilon \eta(x) $, I want to know why is $\dfrac{\partial ...
3
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2answers
110 views

Find the values of $x$, $y$ and $z$ minimizing $\frac{r^2x}{y+z}+\frac{s^2y}{x+z}+\frac{t^2z}{x+y}$

$$\frac{r^2x}{y+z}+\frac{s^2y}{x+z}+\frac{t^2z}{x+y}$$ $r$, $s$, $t$ are positive coefficients. Find the values of non-negative variables $x$, $y$ and $z$ so that the above expression is a minimum.
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2answers
489 views

Max and min value of $7x+8y$ in a given half-plane limited by straight lines?

So, there are four inequalities: $$\begin{eqnarray*} y &\geq &-3x+15; \\ y &\leq &-11/3x+56/3; \\ x &\geq &0; \\ y &\geq &0. \end{eqnarray*}$$ If we draw all those ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Which optimization class does the following problem falls into (LP, MIP, CP..) and which solver to use

I have the following optimization problem. I want to solve it using a computer solver. But I am not sure which problem class it falls into or which solver to use. Problem: There is a set of objects ...
14
votes
2answers
986 views

Maximum total distance between points on a sphere

What is the configuration (set of locations) of $n$ points on the surface of a sphere such that the sum of distances is maximum for $n=1,2,3,...$? The sum of distances is measured by summing the ...
11
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2answers
311 views

Twilight Zelda Guardian Puzzle : Shortest Path (UPDATE: ADDED RULES)

I'm playing a video game right now and in it is a puzzle (see here). There are solutions to solving it (see here) on the Internet, but I'd like to know if this path is the shortest path (least amount ...
10
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1answer
111 views

Using a compass and straightedge, what is the shortest way to divide a line segment into $n$ equal parts?

Sometimes I help my next door neighbor's daughter with her homework. Today she had to trisect a line segment using a compass and straightedge. Admittedly, I had to look this up on the internet, and ...
8
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3answers
437 views

Optimization problem for a parity-check code

I have $n$ data blocks and $k$ parity blocks distributed across $m$ boxes where each box can contain atmost $b$ blocks. Each parity block is Ex-or of some data blocks (for ease of understanding we can ...
8
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2answers
623 views

Generalization of the Sultan's dowry problem

We know the solution of the Sultan's dowry problem: To reject the first $n/e$ candidates and then to select the first who exceeds the best of the sample. How to find the best strategy if we want ...
7
votes
3answers
763 views

Decomposing a discrete signal into a sum of rectangle functions

Hello math@stackexchange community ! I have a simple question that seems to have a non trivial answer. Given a discrete one dimensional signal $w(x)$ defined in a finite range, and the boxcar ...
6
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3answers
503 views

Newton's method in higher dimensions explained

I'm studying about Newton's method and I get the single dimension case perfectly, but the multidimensional version makes me ask question... In Wikipedia Newton's method in higher dimensions is ...
5
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2answers
643 views

Multilinear optimization

Are there any efficient algorithms to solve, multi-linear objective and multi-linear constraint optimization problems? The multilinear functions are sums of bilinear, trilinear (and so on) terms ...
5
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1answer
7k views

Degeneracy in Linear Programming

Consider the standard form polyhedron, and assume that the rows of the matrix A are linearly independent. $$ \left \{ x | Ax = b, x \geq 0 \right \} $$ (a) Suppose that two different bases lead to ...
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194 views

Least sum of distances

Problem: Let $A, B, C, D$ be points in a $3$-dimensional space. Find the point $X$ that minimizes the sum of the distances $AX+ BX + CX + DX$. Context: During a course, I was assigned a ...
4
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1answer
230 views

Conjugate Gradient Method and Sparse Systems

What is it about conjugate gradient that makes it useful for attacking sparse linear systems. Why would steepest descent be significantly worse? Please keep in mind that I am still trying to fully ...
4
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1answer
183 views

Angular alignment of points on two concentric circles

I have two concentric circles $C_1$ and $C_2$ with radii $r_1,r_2$ such that $r_1< r_2$and a set of finite points $P=\left \{ p_1,p_2...p_n \right \}$ and $Q=\left \{ q_1,q_2...q_n \right \}$ are ...
4
votes
3answers
522 views

Optimal symmetric rank-1 approximation

I want to find $\mathbf{x}$ that minimizes $\|A-\mathbf{x}\mathbf{x}'\|^2$ where $\|\cdot\|$ is Frobenius norm. Differentiating with respect to $\mathbf{x}$ and setting to $\mathbf{0}$, I get ...
3
votes
2answers
408 views

Gradient-descent algorithm always converges to the closest local optima?

Assume $f(\vec x)$, which is Lipschitz continuous, has two local optima $\vec x_1^*$ and $\vec x_2^*$( $\vec x_1^*$ is the global minimum). We start the gradient-descent algorithm from $\vec x_0$ and ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

How to calculate lim inf and lim sup for given sequence of sets

Let the indicator function be defined as $$I(x) \triangleq \begin{cases} 1, & \quad x \geq 0 \\ 0, & \quad x < 0 \end{cases}$$ and $I_{\nu}(x) \in [0,1]$ be a continuous approximation of ...
3
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0answers
88 views

Convergence of sequences of sets

Assume we have the indicator function $$I(x) \triangleq \begin{cases} 1, & \quad x \geq 0 \\ 0, & \quad x < 0 \end{cases}$$ and the sequence of its approximation functions $\{ I_{\nu}(x) ...
3
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1answer
182 views

Finding the extrema of $E(\vec{r})=\frac1a x^2+\frac1b y^2+ \frac1c z^2$ with respect to constraints geometrically

I have a function, $$E(\vec{r})=\frac1a x^2+\frac1b y^2+ \frac1c z^2.$$ Where $\vec{r}=(x,y,z)$ and $a>b>c>0$. I wish to find the maximum and minimum of this function with respect to the ...
3
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1answer
115 views

Proof that $E_n = \int_0^1 \left| \ln t - P_n(t) \right|\mathrm{d}t = 1/(n+1)^2$

Assume one wants to minimize the distance between $f(x)=\ln x$ and $P_n(t)$ where $P_n$ denotes a polynomial of degree $n$. Etc $P_1 = ax 0+ b$. One way to judge whether the polynomial is a good ...
2
votes
1answer
758 views

When $\min \max = \max \min$?

Let $X \subset \mathbb{R}^n$ and $Y \subset \mathbb{R}^m$ be compact sets. Consider a continuous function $f : X \times Y \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. Say under which condition we have $$ \min_{x \in ...
2
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1answer
767 views

Solution Technique to Optimize Sets of Constraint Functions with Objective Function that is Heaviside Step Function

I have the following constraint inequalities and equalities: $$Ax \leq b$$ $$A_{eq}x = b_{eq}$$ The problem is that the objective function, which I am asked to minimized, is defined as ...
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0answers
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Constraint optimization with Calculus of Variations. How to handle positive function constraint?

the I am attempting to maximize the functional $F[f]$ with a constrain that $f$ has to be non-negative and some other integral constraints. More, specifically, \begin{align*} &\max F[f]\\ ...
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1answer
51 views

Maximisation problem

I am trying the following question: If$$a+b+c+d=0,\;a^2+b^2+c^2+d^2=1$$ Then what is the maximum value of $ab+bc+cd+da?$ By the rearrangement inequality I can get $ab+bc+cd+da\leq 1$ but I am ...
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1answer
103 views

A problem on positive semi-definite quadratic forms/matrices

Suppose $a+b+c=0$ and (without loss of generality) $a\leq b\leq 0\leq c$, $a^2+b^2+c^2=1$, is the following quadratic form positive semi-definite? Thank you very much. \begin{equation*} \begin{split} ...
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0answers
52 views

Sequence of solutions of approximated problem converging to stationary solution of the original problem

Let $I(x)$ be the indicator function defined as $$I(x) \triangleq \begin{cases} 1, & x \geq 0 \\ 0, & x < 0 \end{cases}$$ and let $L(x,\alpha) \in [0,1]$ be a smoothing function that ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Find minimal $\alpha_3$ such that $u\in H^3(\Omega)$ and $u(x,y,z)=x^\alpha(1-x)y(1-y)z(1-z)$

My instructor presented me the quiz below but forgot to define key terms such as minimality and $H^3$. Quiz Let $u(x,y,z)=x^\alpha(1-x)y(1-y)z(1-z)$. Find the minimal $\alpha_3$ such that $u\in ...
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2answers
519 views

How to prove equality from poincare inequality?

Let $$D = \{y \in C^1(0,1) : y(0) = y(1) = 0\}$$ Suppose there exists a $C_0$ such that $$\int_{0}^{1} y^2 \ dx \leq C_0 \int_{0}^{1} (y')^2 \ dx$$ for all $y \in D$, and for all $C < C_0$ ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Optimizing $x^2+y^2$ from two given equations? [duplicate]

What is the maximum value of $x^2+y^2$, where $(x,y)$ are solutions to: $$2x^2+5xy+3y^2=2$$ and $$6x^2+8xy+4y^2=3$$ Note: Calculus is not allowed. I tried everything I could but whenever I got for ...
16
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4answers
785 views

Gerrymandering/Optimization of electoral districts for one particular party

I'm asking this on behalf of Zach Weiner (actually it's my own initiative in order to promote this site). Original text is here, and is as follows: Hey-- This is Zach from SMBC, and I have a math ...
14
votes
1answer
267 views

Fastest curve from $p_0$ to $p_1$

I'm trying to solve a problem in path planning: Given points $p_0$ and $p_1$ and vectors $v_0$ and $v_1$, find a function $p(t)$ st. $p(0) = p_0$, $p(T) = p_1$, $p'(0) = v_0$ and $p'(T) = ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Taking derivative of $L_0$-norm, $L_1$-norm, $L_2$-norm

I am a little confused about taking derivatives w.r.t. the norms. $L_0$-norm: $L_0$ means number of non-zero elements in a vector. Say, I am interested in an $x_i$. ...