# Tagged Questions

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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### 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 ...
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### How many bananas can a camel deliver without eating them all?

This is a fun puzzle I was assigned on the first day of highschool (over a decade ago). I just dug it up randomly from under my bed and thought I'd share it with the SE community. At the time, I ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Lasso - constraint form equivalent to penalty form

We know that there are two definitions to describe lasso. Regression with constraint definition: $$\min\limits_{\beta} \|y-X\beta\|^2, \sum\limits_{p}|\beta_p|\leq t, \exists t$$ Regression with ...
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### What is the best strategy for Cookie-Clicker-esque games?

Today, I stumbled across the game Cookie Clicker, which I recommend you avoid until you have at least a few hours of time to waste. The basic idea behind the game is this: You have a large stash of ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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?
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### 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 ...
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### 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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### Is it possible for the Lagrange multiplier to be equal to zero?

I would like to find the extrema of the function $f(x,y)=x^2+4xy+4y^2$ subject to $x^2+2y^2=4$ using Lagrange Multipliers. Is it possible to get for the Lagrange multipliers the value zero? I don't ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Convergence of Gauss-Newton method for piecewise linear functions

Notation for Gauss-Newton method Non-linear least squares problems are often solved by the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm, which can be viewed as a Gauss–Newton method using a trust region approach. ...
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### Converting sum of infinity norm and L1 norm to linear programming

So I'm trying to convert this minimization problem, min $\parallel Ax-y \parallel_{\infty}$ + $\parallel x \parallel_{1}$ where $A$ is $m$ by $n$, $y$ is $m$ by $1$ and $x$ is $n$ by $1$. into a ...
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### 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 ...
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### Maximizing distance between points

I asked a similar question on SciComp, but it is a little out of the domain, so I thought I'd give it a try here as well. Give n points, I would like to place them in a periodic box (periodic such ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...