Designing the Perfect Can
Let us put it all together to understand how simple using optimization software really is. Having read the can design problem, you may have wondered how you are supposed to come up with an optimal design, especially since your marketing department has let you know that your can may only have a certain maximum diameter so that it fits neatly into your customers' hands, and a maximum height so the can will fit into the shelves.
Well, let us model this problem together. We are given: the volume V that must fit into the can, and the maximum diameter D and a maximum height H. A quick search on the web returns the formulae for the volume and surface of a cylinder: Volume = diameter^2 * height * PI / 4, Surface = diameter * PI * ( height + diameter/2):
- (name: height, type: continuous, lower bound: 0, upper bound: H)
- (name: diameter, type: continuous, lower bound: 0, upper bound: D)
V = diameter^2 * height * PI / 4
Minimize diameter * PI * ( height + diameter/2)
And that is all there is to it. What you see above is called a model and it specifies exactly the three types of information the machine needs to make a recommendation: What decisions do you need to make? What decisions are legal? What are you trying to optimize? Equipped with just this information, InsideOpt will prescribe the values for the diameter and the height of your can.
Congratulations! You have just learnt one of the most powerful technology concepts in existence. Companies that use optimization technology - like Microsoft, Shopify, FedEx, Air France, or the National Football League - are more efficient and always have an edge on their competition.
Your next step is very simple: Learn how to enter a model like the one above into a computer. Our tutorials make it easy for you. There is no need to learn a new computer language, you can do everything in Python or C++. Don't know Python or C++? No problem, you actually only need to learn very little Python or C++ to model optimization problems. Check out our examples and our tutorials and you will see how easy it is. Seriously, give it a try! You will look back to this very moment later and realize that it was one of the best decisions you ever made.