Contact: Daniel Fylstra
INCLINE VILLAGE, NV -- November 5, 2000 -- Frontline Systems Inc., developer of the Solver in all three major spreadsheets, is introducing two new spreadsheet Solvers for large-scale optimization problems, designed to integrate closely with Frontline's Premium Solver Platform V3.5 for Microsoft Excel.The Premium Solver Platform, Frontline's flagship spreadsheet optimization product, is a fully compatible upgrade to the Solver bundled with Excel, which Frontline developed for Microsoft. It provides a wide range of new features, from an extended LP Solver that handles quadratic programming problems and an extended GRG nonlinear Solver that provides for global optimization to a new hybrid Evolutionary Solver and new constraint programming features. It increases problem-solving capacity to 2,000 variables for linear problems and 500 variables for nonlinear and nonsmooth problems, and it also supports multiple, field-installable Solver engines to handle even larger problems.
"We're delivering on the expansion potential of the Premium Solver Platform with these first two field-installable Solver engines," said Daniel H. Fylstra, president of Frontline Systems. "With these engines, users can now solve problems many times times larger than the Premium Solver Platform itself, and up to 300 times larger than the standard Excel Solver."
Large-Scale LP Solver Efficiently Solves Large, Sparse Linear Problems
The Large-Scale LP Solver V3.5 combines the power of the most advanced LP solution methods with features of the Premium Solver Platform such as fast problem setup, to solve "industrial strength" linear programming problems in convenient spreadsheet form. It also supports integer and binary variables, and the new "alldifferent" constraint first introduced in the Premium Solver Platform. Because it represents problems in an internal "sparse matrix" form, the Large-Scale LP Solver can efficiently solve problems with tens of thousands of variables and constraints that would require huge amounts of memory and time using conventional "dense matrix" form. And because it uses sophisticated methods of scaling, matrix factorization and pivoting to overcome the problems of finite precision arithmetic, it can solve large problems without the loss of precision or numerical stability that would occur with a conventional Simplex method Solver. Advanced methods for selecting a basis and dealing with degeneracy enable the Large-Scale LP Solver to find optimal solutions in far less time.
The Large-Scale LP Solver V3.5 is built as an easy-to-use Solver engine that 'plugs into' the Premium Solver Platform. It is offered in two versions: A standard version that solves problems of up to 16,000 variables and 16,000 constraints, priced at $995, and an extended version that handles up to 65,000 variables and 65,000 constraints, priced at $2,495. Academic users should contact Frontline Systems for research use license pricing.
Large-Scale GRG Solver Solves Large, Sparse Nonlinear Problems
The Large-Scale GRG Solver V3.5 uses advanced nonlinear programming methods to solve "industrial strength" smooth nonlinear optimization problems in convenient spreadsheet form. It also supports integer and binary variables, and the new "alldifferent" constraint introduced in the Premium Solver Platform. Using sparse matrix representations of the problem and a sparse version of the Generalized Reduced Gradient method, plus advanced algorithms for selecting a basis and handling degeneracy, the Large-Scale GRG Solver can solve much larger nonlinear problems than the Premium Solver Platform alone.
The Large-Scale GRG Solver V3.5 is also built as an easy-to-use Solver engine that 'plugs into' the Premium Solver Platform. It solves problems of up to 4,000 variables and 4,000 constraints, in addition to bounds on the variables. It is priced at $995. Academic users should contact Frontline Systems for research use license pricing.
Downloadable Solver Engines Support "On-Demand" Evaluation Licenses
The Large-Scale LP Solver and Large-Scale GRG Solver are especially easy for users to evaluate, since they take advantage of advanced software licensing support in the Premium Solver Platform. These Solver engines can be downloaded free of charge from Frontline Systems' World Wide Web site http://www.frontsys.com, and installed so that they appear in the Premium Solver Platform's list of available Solver engines. Their Help files, Solver options and the like are available for inspection at any time. The first time the Solve button is clicked with one of these engines selected, the user is given the option to start a free 15-day evaluation period, during which time the full power of the Solver engine is available to solve problems. At any time, the Solver engines can be field-upgraded to a full license for permanent use. Users with questions about the Premium Solver Platform are invited to contact Frontline Systems at (775) 831-0300 or (888) 831-0333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.