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Evaluating and Selecting Optimization Software Packages: A Framework for Business Applications

Authors: Waleed Abohamad, Amr Arisha


Owing the fact that optimization of business process is a crucial requirement to navigate, survive and even thrive in today-s volatile business environment, this paper presents a framework for selecting a best-fit optimization package for solving complex business problems. Complexity level of the problem and/or using incorrect optimization software can lead to biased solutions of the optimization problem. Accordingly, the proposed framework identifies a number of relevant factors (e.g. decision variables, objective functions, and modeling approach) to be considered during the evaluation and selection process. Application domain, problem specifications, and available accredited optimization approaches are also to be regarded. A recommendation of one or two optimization software is the output of the framework which is believed to provide the best results of the underlying problem. In addition to a set of guidelines and recommendations on how managers can conduct an effective optimization exercise is discussed.

Keywords: Optimization, selection criteria, software evaluation, Complex Business Problems

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