Contact:  Daniel Fylstra
Frontline Systems 775-831-0300
press@solver.com

News Release

INCLINE VILLAGE, NV - March 15, 2004 - Frontline Systems, Inc., developer of the Solver in all three major spreadsheets, is shipping Version 5.5E of the Large-Scale LP Solver Engine, KNITRO Solver Engine, and OptQuest Solver Engine -- three top-performing optimizers for linear mixed-integer problems, smooth nonlinear problems, and non-smooth problems respectively.  All three Solver Engines "plug into" the Premium Solver Platform and the Solver DLL Platform, where they can be used in both Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and custom programs written in Visual Basic, C/C++ and other languages.

"These are substantial enhancements to three of our best Solvers," said Daniel H. Fylstra, President of Frontline Systems. "A highlight is the Large-Scale LP Solver, our best-selling Solver Engine, which now offers far greater speed, problem-solving capacity, and numerical stability than any previous version."

Large-Scale LP Solver Offers Double to Triple Problem-Solving Capacity

The Large-Scale LP Solver V5.5E is built from an entirely new code base, with a greatly improved primal and dual Simplex method for linear programming problems, a new Branch & Cut method for mixed-integer problems, and improved matrix factorization and updating methods for numerical stability.  The problem-solving capacity of the Basic edition of the Large-Scale LP Solver is doubled from 4,000 to 8,000 variables and constraints, and the capacity of the Standard edition is doubled from 16,000 to 32,000 variables and constraints.  The capacity of the Extended edition of this Solver is more than tripled, from 64,000 to 200,000 variables and constraints.

KNITRO Solver Offers 

The KNITRO Solver V5.5E, based on the leading implementation of new interior point methods (also known as barrier methods) that have been an intense focus of research in nonlinear optimization in recent years, has demonstrated in benchmark studies the fastest and most robust performance ever for a nonlinear Solver, on challenging, very large scale smooth nonlinear problems with up to 100,000 variables and constraints.  The new release uses a variety of advanced methods, including both direct factorization and conjugate gradient methods for solving the Newton system at each major iteration, several options for obtaining first and second derivatives of problem functions, sparse matrix factorization and storage methods, and methods to estimate matrix conditioning and maintain numerical stability. 

OptQuest Solver Offers 

The OptQuest Solver V5.5E, based on the leading implementation of tabu search and scatter search methods from the metaheuristics literature, offers outstanding performance on challenging non-smooth problems, that may use any Excel functions, or even third-party or user-written functions.  The new release offers greatly improved performance on 'combinatorial' optimization problems with integer variables and alldifferent constraints.

Technology, Licensing Support 'Dual Use' in Excel and Custom Programs

The new Solver Engines "plug into" both the Premium Solver Platform, Frontline's flagship Solver product for Microsoft Excel, and the Solver DLL Platform, its counterpart for building custom application programs written in Visual Basic, C/C++, or another programming language.  The architecture of the two Platform products enables a single Solver Engine to solve problems expressed in very different ways, via Excel formulas or via programming language code.  Frontline grants a dual license to each user who purchases one of the Solver Engines, enabling that individual to use the Solver Engine with both the Premium Solver Platform and the Solver DLL Platform.

Pricing, Upgrades, Academic Versions, and Free Evaluations

The Large-Scale LP Solver Engine V5.5E is available in three editions:  A Basic edition, supporting 8,000 variables and constraints, for $995, a Standard edition, supporting 32,000 variables and constraints, for $2,495, and an Extended edition, supporting 200,000 variables and constraints, for $4,995.  The KNITRO Solver Engine V5.5E, which solves smooth nonlinear problems up to 100,000 variables and constraints, is priced at $3,995.  The OptQuest Solver Engine, which solves non-smooth problems up to 5,000 variables and 1,000 constraints, is priced at $2,500. 

Annual Support Contracts for these Solver Engines range in price from $200 to $1,000; they provide access to technical support as well as upgrades to future versions for one year. Academic versions of the new Solver Engines are offered to university faculty and students for research and teaching, with academic certification, at prices ranging from $300 to $1,500 for the Large-Scale LP Solver, $1,200 for the KNITRO Solver, and $750 for the OptQuest Solver.

Existing users of each Solver Engine with current Annual Support Contracts will receive free upgrades to Version 5.5E.  Users of other Frontline Systems Solver Engines who have current Annual Support Contracts can "trade up" from other, similar Solver Engines to the Large-Scale LP Solver, KNITRO Solver or OptQuest Solver Engine V5.5E, in most cases for the difference in license price.

Prospective users can download fully functional, full capacity and speed, free trial versions of the Premium Solver Platform V5.5 and the Solver Engines V5.5E from Frontline's Website at www.solver.com. For further information, contact Frontline Systems at info@frontsys.com or at 888-831-0333 (U.S. toll free) or 775-831-0300 (international).

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