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Design and Use of the Microsoft Excel Solver


  • Daniel Fylstra

    (Frontline Systems Inc., PO Box 4288, Incline Village, Nevada 89450)

  • Leon Lasdon

    (Department of Management Science and Information Systems, College of Business Administration, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712)

  • John Watson

    (Software Engines, 725 Magnolia Street, Menlo Park, California 94025)

  • Allan Waren

    (Computer and Information Science Department, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio 44115)


In designing the spreadsheet optimizer that is bundled with Microsoft Excel, we and Microsoft made certain choices in designing its user interface, model processing, and solution algorithms for linear, nonlinear, and integer programs. We describe some of the common pitfalls users encounter and remedies available in the latest version of Microsoft Excel. The Solver has many applications and great impact in industry and education.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Fylstra & Leon Lasdon & John Watson & Allan Waren, 1998. "Design and Use of the Microsoft Excel Solver," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 28(5), pages 29-55, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orinte:v:28:y:1998:i:5:p:29-55
    DOI: 10.1287/inte.28.5.29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen G. Powell, 1995. "The Teachers’ Forum: Teaching the Art of Modeling to MBA Students," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 25(3), pages 88-94, June.
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