Electronic Proceedings of the Seventh Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Orlando, Florida, November 17-20, 1994

Paper C034

Sensitivity Analysis in Linear Programming Using a Calculator

Judith Aronow

5590 Frost
Beaumont, TX 77706
Phone: (409) 892-9141
Fax: (409) 835-5432

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Richard D. Jarvinen

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Winona State University
308 Gildemeister Hall
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 457-5590
Fax: (507) 457-5586

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Sensitivity Analysis is often either omitted from the teaching of linear programming or solely its purpose briefly described. Yet, by its very 'what if' nature, it encourages user experimentation, because it allows one to observe the effects of varying the 'givens', parameters such as costs, technological coefficients and resource availabilities. Affordable hand-held computational devices are the perfect tool for this numerical work. They are easily used and widely available for rapid 'number crunching'. The results allow the user the luxury of viewing numerical trends with hypothetical givens. We illustrate with easily implemented calculator programming and sample problems.

Keyword(s): linear programming, graphing calculators, TI-85, HP48G