In mathematics, the term optimization refers to the process which selects the best element from different sets of alternatives. Optimization focuses on different mathematical principles and methodologies to solve quantitative problems related to disciplines such as physics, biology, engineering, business and economics.
The term optimization was coined in the 1940s. Over the years, the discipline has started being related to the study of the mathematical structure to optimize problems, as well as inventing methods to solve these problems.
Furthermore, the development of optimization techniques has had beneficial effects in different fields such as computer sciences, operations research, game theory, numerical analysis, mathematical economics, combinatorics and control theory.
Optimisation problems usually include three fundamental elements: a single numerical quantity or objective function, a collection of variables and a set of constraints.
A common problem where optimization is applied consists in finding the maximum or minimum value of a simple function subject to a precise constraint.
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