# 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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### The median minimizes the sum of absolute deviations

Suppose we have a set $S$ of real numbers. Show that $$\sum_{s\in S}|s-x|$$ is minimal if $x$ is equal to the median. This is a sample exam question of one of the exams that I need to take and ...
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### Find the maximum of $f(x)=x^{1/x}$

Find the maximum of the function $$f(x)=x^{1/x}$$ and the value of $x$ which gives the maximum value?
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### Minimum of $|az_x-bz_y|$

I am trying to minimize the following function: \begin{align} &f(z_x,z_y)=|az_x-bz_y| \\ &\text{ s.t. } z_x,z_y \in \mathbb{Z},1 \le z_x \le N_x \text{ and } 1 \le z_y \le N_y \text{ and } a,...
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### Not so easy optimization of variables?

What is the maximum value of $x^2+y^2$, where $(x,y)$ are solutions to $2x^2+5xy+3y^2=2$ and $6x^2+8xy+4y^2=3$. (calculus is not allowed). I tried everything I could but whenever I got for example $or$...
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### What is the optimal path between $2$ fixed points around an invisible obstructing wall?

Every day you walk from point A to point B, which are $3$ miles apart. There is a $50$% chance each walk that there is an invisible wall somewhere strictly between the two points (never at A or B). ...
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### How do Lagrange multipliers work to find the lowest value of a function subject to a constraint?

I have been using Lagrange multipliers in constrained optimization problems, but I don't see how they actually work to simultaneously satisfy the constraint and find the lowest possible value of an ...
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### Show that there's a minimum spanning tree if all edges have different costs

Show that there's a unique minimum spanning tree (MST) in case the edges' weights are pairwise different $(w(e)\neq w(f) \text{ for } e\neq f)$. I thought that the proof can be done for example by ...
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### Trace minimization with constraints

For positive semi-definite matrices $A,B$, how can I find an $X$ that minimizes $\text{Trace}(AX^TBX$) under 'either' one of these constraints: a) Sum of squares of Euclidean-distances between pairs ...
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### Intuitive understanding of Maximin Principle

From the the book page $324$, does someone could explain to me the Theorem $2$. Maximin principle? I have a bit of difficulties to well understand how works this theorem. A simple example would be ...
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### Maximizing a quadratic subject to $\lVert x\rVert_2 \le 1$

Consider the $n$-dimensional quadratically constrained quadratic optimization problem $$\max \frac12 x^TAx + b^Tx \\ \text{s.t. } \lVert x\rVert_2 \le 1,$$ where $A$ is a symmetric $n\times n$ matrix ...
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### Maximizing volume of a rectangular solid, given surface area

Maximize the volume of a rectangular solid, given that the sum of the areas of the six faces is $6a^2$ for a constant $a$. So basically they tell you it's a rectangle with 6 sides. 2 sides are square,...
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### Simple resource for Lagrangian constrained optimization?

Just had an optimization lecture. I understand unconstrained methods like Newton and Gradient descent just fine, as well as the ideas that give rise to them. I don't really understand the ideas that ...
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### Some properties of Yosida-Moreau transform

Let $f(x)$ be a continuous function on $\mathbb{R}^n$, $f(x) \geqslant 0$ for any $x$. Define $$f_{\alpha}(x) = \inf\limits_{y}\left( f(y) +\frac{|x-y|^2}{2\alpha} \right)$$ where $\alpha > 0$....
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### Summation notation problem

Any help is greatly appreciated! Outline: Hermione has been thinking about the imminent return of the Dark Lord, so she has been busy packing her bag with all the items required for her survival. ...
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### AM-GM-HM Triplets

I want to understand what values can be simultaneously attained as the arithmetic (AM), geometric (GM), and harmonic (HM) means of finite sequences of positive real numbers. Precisely, for what points ...
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### Understanding the concept behind the Lagrangian multiplier

I've been trying to understand the principles behind the Lagrangian multipliers and I think I've got a rough understanding of it. Would appreciate it if you guys could help me answer a few questions! ...
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### Euler-Lagrange, Gradient Descent, Heat Equation and Image Denoising

For an image denoising problem, the author has a functional $E$ defined $$E(u) = \iint_\Omega F \;\mathrm d\Omega$$ which he wants to minimize. $F$ is defined as F = \|\nabla u \|^2 = u_x^2 + ...
Must a polynomial function $f \in \mathbb{R}[x_1, \ldots, x_n]$ that's lower bounded by some $\lambda \in \mathbb{R}$ have a global minimum over $\mathbb{R}^n$?