Powerful Solver Product Line Now Available for Mac OSX and Excel 2011

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Frontline Systems Inc., developer of the Solver in Microsoft Excel, is shipping new Mac OSX and Excel 2011 compatible versions of Premium Solver Platform and five plug-in, large-scale Solver Engines, designed to bring unmatched ease, speed, and power to solving challenging mathematical optimization problems with up to millions of decision variables. The new products are released as Version 10.5, in line with their counterparts on Windows. Free trial versions are available for download from http://www.solver.com/macsolver.

Premium Solver Platform for Mac Interface

“We’ve brought the benefit of 20 years of optimization software development to the Macintosh,” said Daniel Fylstra, Frontline Systems’ president. “Mac users can now take advantage of the latest and most powerful Solvers available on any platform.”

Frontline Systems Inc., developer of the Solver in Microsoft Excel, is shipping new Mac OSX and Excel 2011 compatible versions of Premium Solver Platform and five plug-in, large-scale Solver Engines, designed to bring unmatched ease, speed, and power to solving challenging mathematical optimization problems with up to millions of decision variables. The new products are released as Version 10.5, in line with their counterparts on Windows. Free trial versions are available for download from http://www.solver.com/macsolver.

“We’ve brought the benefit of 20 years of optimization software development to the Macintosh,” said Daniel Fylstra, Frontline Systems’ president. “Mac users can now take advantage of the latest and most powerful Solvers available on any platform.”

Premium Solver Platform Upward Compatible from Excel 2011 Solver

Premium Solver Platform V10.0 for Mac is upward compatible from the new Solver for Excel 2011, and all previous versions of Solver for Mac and Windows – but it’s far more powerful. Its LP/Quadratic Solver handles linear programming problems up to 40 times larger than the standard Solver, and problems of virtually unlimited size – millions of decision variables – with plug-in large-scale Solver Engines. While speed is highly problem-dependent, it usually solves linear mixed-integer problems 10 to 100 times faster than the standard Solver, and quadratic programming problems up to 10 times larger at high speed.

PSI Technology Aids Users and Solver Engines

Premium Solver Platform includes Frontline’s Polymorphic Spreadsheet Interpreter (PSI Technology), refined over the past 10 years, which replaces the core formula interpreter used in Excel with an advanced interpreter that can analyze Excel formulas for properties (such as linearity and convexity) important for optimization, provide diagnostic aids to users, and automatically compute function gradients – critical for optimization – using algorithmic differentiation. The PSI Interpreter has a major impact on nonlinear problems, which can be solved up to 10 to 100 times faster than the standard Excel Solver.

Familiar Solver User Interface Enhanced

Premium Solver Platform features a new Solver Parameters dialog that looks familiar to users of the standard Excel Solver, but offers easier ways to create and modify the elements of Solver models. In place of a simple list of constraints, it displays an outlined list of all the elements of the model – objective, decision variables, and general, bound, integer, semi-continuous, and conic constraints. The last two constraint types go beyond the standard Solver, offering new power to users. Premium Solver Platform also includes a SOCP Barrier Solver that solves conic optimization problems.

New Object-Oriented API for Excel VBA Users

Premium Solver Platform supports the traditional VBA macros used to control the standard Excel Solver, such as SolverOK, and SolverSolve. But it also offers a new object-oriented API that provides direct high-level access to optimization models, and is compatible with the API used in Solver Platform SDK, Frontline’s leading tool for optimization and simulation in a programming language. This API, offered for the past four years in Frontline’s products for Windows, has proven very popular with users.

Plug-in Solver Engines Extend the Power of Premium Solver Platform

Frontline has ported five plug-in, large-scale Solver Engines to the Mac, that “plug in” seamlessly into Premium Solver Platform and extend its power. They include:

Large-Scale LP/QP Solver Engine, capable of solving linear and mixed-integer problems of virtually unlimited size, and quadratic programming problems of medium to large size.

MOSEK Solver Engine, capable of solving linear, mixed-integer, quadratic, conic, and convex nonlinear problems of virtually unlimited size. MOSEK is often considered the world’s best SOCP Solver.

Gurobi Solver Engine, considered the world’s fastest Solver for linear mixed-integer problems, which also supports large-scale quadratic programming problems in its latest release.

Large-Scale GRG Solver Engine, capable of solving smooth nonlinear problems of up to 12,000 variables, using sparse matrix techniques.

KNITRO Solver Engine, capable of solving smooth nonlinear optimization of virtually unlimited size. It is considered the world’s best implementation of modern interior point (or barrier) methods for non-linear, non-convex optimization, and it also offers SLQP (Sequential Linear-Quadratic) methods.

Pricing and Availability

All of Frontline’s products for the Macintosh are available immediately. Commercial prices for the Mac products are the same as for their Windows counterparts, and are available on http://www.solver.com. Academic versions are available at reduced prices for qualified users with an Academic Certification signed by a faculty member. Prospective users can download fully functional, full capacity and speed, free trial versions of the new products from Solver.com. For further information, contact Frontline Systems Inc. at info@solver.com or at 888-831-0333 (toll free) or 775-831-0300.

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Christopher Riche
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