Discrete optimization

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Discrete optimization is a branch of optimization in applied mathematics and computer science.


As opposed to continuous optimization, some or all of the variables used in a discrete mathematical program are restricted to be discrete variables—that is, to assume only a discrete set of values, such as the integers.[1]


Two notable branches of discrete optimization are:[2]

These branches are closely intertwined however since many combinatorial optimization problems can be modeled as integer programs (e.g. shortest path) and conversely, integer programs can often be given a combinatorial interpretation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Jon (2004), A First Course in Combinatorial Optimization, Cambridge Texts in Applied Mathematics, 36, Cambridge University Press, p. 1, ISBN 9780521010122 .
  2. ^ Hammer, P. L.; Johnson, E. L.; Korte, B. H. (2000), "Conclusive remarks", Discrete Optimization II, Annals of Discrete Mathematics, 5, Elsevier, pp. 427–453 .