COMP 566   Autumn 2006       Course Announcements

Please check this page once a week.          New items at the top of the page.  

course home page              lecture summaries         project/presentation information

Feeback session at Thomson House (thanks to Nathan Yu)

November 23: Midterm will be held in Trottier 1080.

Please fill out course evalutations on line at :

Assignment 4 is posted, due Dec 5 in class.

Assignment 3 is posted, due Nov 9. (Misprint on page number for problem 3 corrected.)

Assignment 2 handed back in class on Oct 17. Review sessionon that day.
Please send suggestions to Conor:  cmeagh1 at

October 19: Midterm will be held in Burnside Hall 1B23 (basement) 08:35-09:55.

Since Tues Oct 10 follows the Monday schedule, there is no class.
You may hand in Assignment 2 at the next class, Thurs Oct 12.

Assignment 2 is posted, due Tues Oct 10 in class.
(Problem 3 has been added.) For question 2, system 1: only x_1 >= 0.   

Teaching Assistant: Conor Meagher
Office: MC232
email: cmeagh1 at
Mon 10-11 and Wed 11-12 or by appointment

Course software

In the course we make use of the packages maple, lp_solve, cplex and lrs. All are installed on lab
machines in Trottier:,         1<=i<=9 and 1<=j<=30      (Try i=4 or 6 first).

You can connect remotely by ssh:   eg:    ssh
A full list of machine names in labs is here:

If you do not find the software,  try typing: %source /usr/socs/Cshrc
You will need to set the path for some of the software.

cplex     path: /usr/local/bin/cplex 

Instructions for cplex can be found here.

maple        path: /usr/local/bin/maple
A maple session that shows how to solve systems of equations is here.

lp_solve         path: /usr/local/pkgs/lp_solve_4.0/lp_solve
This program can be used to solve linear or integer linear programs.
Usage: lp_solve -S4 < input_file       (-S4 option gives dual variables)
Some examples input and output files are here.
The man page is here.

The full package is available for download from the lp_solve  home page.

A nice help page with DOS executable is available at:

lrs         path: /usr/local/pkgs/lrslib-041/lrs
This program computes all of the extreme points (and extreme rays if any) of the
feasible region of an LP. Home page is:

Zimpl    free modelling tool for LPs and ILPs (constraint
generator to lp or mps formats).
It is easy to learn and use. On page 16 of the documentation
( you will find Chvatal's
diet problem as an example.

Coin-Or   Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research
-->"an open-source community for operations research software in order
to speed development and deployment of models, algorithms, and cutting-edge
computational research." It has some neat cut generators for solving ILPs.

Symphony    Open source Mixed ILP solver that implements branch and cut
-->it s very customizable and is part of COIN-OR. If you tweak things
right, you will solve tough ILPs faster than CPLEX can. You can even
implement your own cuts.


The SOCS Inside-Out Website is a dynamic student initiative which aims to
reduce frustration and raise the level of computing competency at McGill.
It can be found on the web at

 Some pointers for those looking for projects:

Informs Search of Annual Comprehensive Index Bibliographic Database

ORMS today

Prof. Goffin's home page

Journals to check:
Mathematical Programming, Operations Research, Networks,
INFORS, Interfaces, Management Science