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1.2 Classifications

There are many optimization algorithms available to the computational scientist. Many methods are appropriate only for certain types of problems. Thus, it is important to be able to recognize the characteristics of a problem in order to identify an appropriate solution technique. Within each class of problems there are different minimization methods, varying in computational requirements, convergence properties, and so on. A discussion on the relative strengths and weaknesses of available techniques within a given class of problems will be the focus of the following sections. Optimization problems are classified according to the mathematical characteristics of the objective function, the constraints, and the control variables.