Operations Research Models and Methods /Computation / Mathematical Programming

Excel Solver

 

All models formed through the Math Programming add-in can be solved with the Solver add-in that comes with Excel. The add-in comes free with Excel. More capable versions can be purchased from Frontline Systems.

To use this add-in it must be installed on your computer. If it is installed the item "Solver" appears on the Tools menu of Excel. If the item does not appear on the Tools menu, use the custom installation procedure on the Microsoft Office CD to install it.

The Math Programming add-in automatically creates and loads the Solver model every time a model is created and every time the Solve button is clicked. Before this automatic operation is possible, the student must establish contact with the Solver. This is accomplished by simply selecting the Solver item from the Tools menu. The empty Solver dialog box will appear. Simply close the dialog. This action creates the desired link.

If the link is not established before the add-in tries to use Solver, the message from Excel below appears. This indicates that the attempt to use Solver was unsuccessful.

After the OK button is pressed the dialog box from the add-in provides instructions for linking to Solver. Once the connection is made, all interactions with the Solver are automatic.

We should note, that the Solver add-in is very useful with the Jensen add-ins. It can used in many contexts and every student of Excel should learn to use its features.

 

Mathematical Programming

by Paul A. Jensen and Jon Bard, University of Texas, Copyright by the Authors