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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A graphics interface for linear programming

We describe the interface to a software system that assists users in the process of formulating linear programming models. The main idea is to introduce a new representation that allows modelers to depict their problems in a graphical rather than mathematical form. This representation is described in detail together with a number of other interface design principles that we believe will aid modelers—including hierarchical decomposition, multiple model representations, alternative formulation approaches, the use of model templates, and database and model management facilities. These features are illustrated using the output of a prototype system formulating a realistic LP problem.

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