Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

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

Free variable

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.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege PartUSA
  2. 2.School of Information Technology & EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA