Gurobi Unveils New Interactive Educational Game Highlighting the Power of Optimization

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The Burrito Optimization Game introduces players to the power of optimization

BEAVERTON, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gurobi Optimization, LLC, creator of the world’s fastest mathematical optimization solver, announced the launch of its new educational game that aims to show gamers the power of optimization . The “Burrito Optimization Game” is a free web application designed for data science and operations research students, and anyone who might benefit from mathematical optimization. In addition to demonstrating the value of optimization, the game also proves its difficulty, as well as the importance of algorithms and solvers in finding an optimal solution.

Gurobi created the Burrito Optimization Game in collaboration with Dr. Larry Snyder of Lehigh University, who explains that by the time he and Gurobi started working on the project, there were several other projects in the science community. data that used the principle of locating a hypothetical new restaurant. Projects noted possible locations based on demographics, demand, and other data science factors.

“As optimizers, we know it can be easy to choose the best location once you have a score, but if you have to choose five, ten or fifty locations, especially when there are thousands of choices , it becomes a very different kind of problem,” says Dr. Snyder. “So we decided to use that as a way to introduce the story of optimization, hoping that the idea of ​​first proposing a score for each location and then putting it in an optimization context would resonate even with data scientists who hadn’t seen the restaurant examples.

Gurobi’s game is based on a classic facility location problem and allows players to choose the best locations for a “Guroble” food truck, with the goal of maximizing their total profit. For each level, players are presented with a new story, with increased complexity, and a set of data to help them make decisions. The data provided typically includes the cost of each truck, ingredient price, and total revenue for each burrito sold, as well as scenarios that will impact decision-making, such as supply chain disruptions. supply of burrito ingredients or weather conditions. that impact a customer’s willingness to travel.

Players can drag and drop their Guroble trucks onto an illustrated map, where they can see how many customers are in each building. The closer the truck is to a building, the more customers in that building will be willing to walk to the truck to buy a burrito. Players can see how their profits adjust as they drag and drop the truck to a different location, highlighting the importance of tradeoffs in complex decision making.

Once a player is happy with the placement of the trucks, Gurobi will solve the problem and find the optimal solution in a split second. Players can then see how far they were from the optimal solution in terms of total profit.

The game also provides guidance throughout the process to deepen the learning experience once players submit their solution. For example, players might be told that a certain part of town is underserved, or they’ll see a hint that their solution has the optimal number of trucks, but in the wrong places.

In the following rounds, the game introduces uncertainties for an additional challenge. Players must build their solutions based on predictions rather than actual demand in this game, a very familiar concept for data science students. For example, there may be 25 expected customers in a building, but the actual amount may be off by up to five customers. Error bars indicate in which direction the actual requests may be.

“What we hope to convey is that if you were to try trial and error optimization, it’s not only tedious and time-consuming, but it’s also hard to make good decisions,” says Dr. Snyder. “We also wanted to clarify that although optimization is difficult, it is a mature scientific field with robust commercial and open-source software that can solve these problems for us.”

“We launched this a short time ago, and early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” explained Dr. Edward Rothberg, CEO and co-founder of Gurobi Optimization. “A common response from optimization professionals is the excitement of having a simple and fun way to show the people they work with the kinds of problems optimization can solve and the power it can solve. brought.”

Burrito optimization game is available on Gurobi website, accompanied by a series of resources that highlight the intended teaching lessons and explain how instructors can teach the game in a classroom or how players can use the game on their own.

About Gurobi Optimization

Gurobi produces the world’s fastest and most powerful mathematical optimization solver, the Gurobi Optimizer, which is used by leading global companies in over 40 different industries to quickly solve their complex real-world problems and make automated decisions that optimize their efficiency and profitability. As the market leader in mathematical optimization software, we aim to provide not only the best solver, but also the best support, so that businesses can take full advantage of the power of mathematical optimization (alone or in combination with other AI techniques such as machine learning) to optimize business decisions and outcomes.

Founded in 2008, Gurobi operates in the Americas, Europe and Asia and has more than 2,500 customers worldwide, including SAP, Air France, Uber and the National Football League (NFL). For more information, visit or call +1 713 871 9341.

Nell Marie Colman

(540) 952 9719

Gurobi Optimization

[email protected]

Source: Gurobi optimization

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