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A modeling language for mathematical programming. (English) Zbl 0701.90062
Summary: Practical large-scale mathematical programming involves more than just the application of an algorithm to minimize or maximize an objective function. Before any optimizing routine can be invoked, considerable effort must be expended to formulate the underlying model and to generate the requisite computational data structures. AMPL is a new language designed to make these steps easier and less error-prone. AMPL closely resembles the symbolic algebraic notation that many modelers use to describe mathematical programs, yet it is regular and formal enough to be processed by a computer system; it is particularly notable for the generality of its syntax and for the variety of its indexing operations. We have implemented an efficient translator that takes as input a linear AMPL model and associated data, and produces output suitable for standard linear programming optimizers. Both the language and the translator admit straightforward extensions to more general mathematical programs that incorporate nonlinear expressions or discrete variables.

90C06 Large-scale problems in mathematical programming
68N01 General topics in the theory of software
68Q45 Formal languages and automata
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