Tag Archives: history

linear programming is a most unfortunate phrase

“[I]t seems to me that the term `linear programming’ is a most unfortunate phrase for this promising technique, particularly since many possible extensions appear to be in nonlinear directions. A more general yet more descriptive term, such as `bounded optimization,’ might have been a happier choice.

Philip M. Morse (1953). Trends in operations research. Journal of the Operations Research Society of America1(4), 159-165.

It’s interesting that the term “linear programming” has been disliked since it was introduced.

It’s also interesting to hear skepticism about the usefulness of linear programming. This reminds me of a story about George Dantzig in 1948, who also met skepticism regarding the usefulness of linear programming. Read my post “Happiness is assuming the world is linear” for more information.

What do you think of the term “bounded optimization?” Is it better or worse than the term “linear programming?”