- Paperback: 788 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 18, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780521100281
- ISBN-13: 978-0521100281
- ASIN: 0521100283
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Applied Optimization: Formulation and Algorithms for Engineering Systems 1st Edition
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This book provides step-by-step descriptions of how to formulate numerical problems so that they can be solved by existing software. A number of engineering case studies are used to illustrate in detail the formulation process. These case studies motivate the development of efficient algorithms that involve, in some cases, transformation of the problem from its initial formulation into a more tractable form. The book contains many worked examples and homework exercises and is suitable for students of engineering or operations research taking courses in optimization.
About the Author
ROSS BALDICK is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. His current research involves optimization and economic theory applied to electric power system operations and the public policy and technical issues associated with electric transmission under deregulation. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems and the chairman of the System Economics Sub-Committee of the IEEE Power Engineering
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This review is based on my fondness for the practical side things.
I feel that the title is somewhat misleading. When I read the words "Applied Optimization" I expected there to be several worked out examples of "real" problems, perhaps with many figures and illustrations explaining them.
However, the author mainly works with a few select quadratic problems. These problems are carried over from the first chapters to the last ones, and in doing so they are solved by all the methods explained in the book. This is actually one of the strong points of the book, since the selection of quadratic problems on two variables makes it possible to graph the contour sets and graphically look at the solution. However, I don't consider this to be "applied" enough; it is basically studying the same problem, or small variations of it, from different angles.
It does include "real" problems, like least-cost production, and optimal power flow, but I find the description of these poor. It's impossible to understand these problems without knowing the theory beforehand. Therefore, the author should avoid explaining the problems and focus only on the optimization aspects.
In an attempt to be explicative, the book is too wordy for my taste; sometimes a lot is being said without any real progress being made. For instance, the author clarifies that "Q" in power systems is not the same "Q" as in "LQ" or "QR" factorizations. The Kirchhoff laws of electric circuits are explained *with words*, instead of the more natural approach of using circuit diagrams and a few equations, like any book on circuit analysis would do. The explaining and proving of theorems is also a waste of space for a book under the "applied" banner.
The first three parts seem like a lot of introductory material (definitions, theorems, linear equations, Newton-Raphson, basic minimization), while the more interesting material (constrained minimization, Lagrange multipliers, interior-point algorithms, real problems) is in the last two parts.
The book is nearly 750 pages long, but it also includes appendices (mathematical background, definitions, proofs) that can be downloaded from the editor's website. In contrast, some books on optimization are 600 pages or less long, appendices included.
The bibliography section at the end of the book is pretty complete. The author constantly cites his references and you can take a look at the books mentioned there if this one does not satisfy you.
As for the layout, it is a beautiful book typeset in LaTeX. It has consistent mathematical notation and crisp clean figures made in Matlab. The only weird thing to note is that for some reason the sectional headings are centered instead of aligned to the left.
In order for the book to be an introductory text (1) it should be less verbose, (2) it should be more concise, and (3) it should present more worked out examples.
In order for the book to be an advanced text (1) it should be less verbose, and (2) it should cover more material in the same number of pages.
The most important problem in applied optimization, I believe, is problem formulation, that is to translate the intuitive ideas into rigorous mathematics. The book has done an excellent job in explaining the process of formulating an optimization problem. It provides step-by-step descriptions that are very helpful and useful. A lot of good examples and exercises are illustrated, which can be used as templates to formulate many real engineering problems with minor revisions.
The second major issue in applied optimization is to reformulate an original optimization problem to its standard form, so that it can be directly solved by known software. This part is tough because it involves a lot of mathematics. But the author succeeds to solve it in a magic way. Many abstract and complicated definitions and algorithms are visualized by beautiful and meaningful figures. The author also tries to avoid the unnecessary mathematics. Many theorems and proofs are deliberately rewritten to ease the understanding of this part.
Applied optimization has two sides: science and art. Most of the books in this field focus on the science side, but not so satisfactory in the art side. The book has done a very good job in balancing both sides. You can expect to obtain both "optimization" and "the art of optimization" from this book.
(Written by Chengtao Wen)
It would not take a genius to realize that in the real world constrained by time and computational power the perfect method is most often beyond the reach. Our world revolves around the so called "second best solutions". The "art" in optimization are formulation and approximation. For those of you, who intend to formulate, construct and solve optimization problems presented by the world around you (not just understand the theory), this book is a great asset. I know I benefited from it greatly.