Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Free variable

  • Saul I. Gass
  • Carl M. Harris
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_367

A variable that can take on any value, as contrasted to a variable that must take on nonnegative values. In a linear-programming problem, a variable that is free can be expressed as the difference between two nonnegative variables. However, when using the simplex method to solve a linear-programming problem with free variables, it is more effective to eliminate those variables by means of constraints in which they appear.  Unrestricted variable.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saul I. Gass
    • 1
  • Carl M. Harris
    • 2
  1. 1.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege PartUSA
  2. 2.School of Information Technology & EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA