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Topic: Optimization Problem
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Posts: 983
Registered: 8/21/06
Optimization Problem
Posted: Nov 18, 2011 3:06 AM
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This is a weird optimization problem I recently came across which I
cannot solve.

Suppose we start off with an empty container of M&Ms.
We take and add M&Ms to the container every year for n years.
The number of M&Ms I take out each year, B, is always the same (think
of it as a parameter).
The number added in year i, A(i), is known (think of it as data)
The net change in the number of M&Msfrom year i is dN(i) = A(i) - B
If dN(i)< 0, I have an M&M "bank" I can go to cover my losses and so
I can keep operating even with a deficit. The amount I owe the bank in
year i, D(i) = D(i-1) + dN(i) (so it is a running total).
If dN(i) > 0, then I apply any deficit I have with the bank, and if
dN(i) > |D(i-1)|, i.e. the net positive number of M&Ms I get that year
exceeds the amount of my deficit with the bank, I eat the extra M&Ms

The problem is: "Find the maximum value of B such that D(n) = 0"
(i.e. what is the maximum number of M&Ms I can take out every year, so
I have no deficit with the bank at the end of the n years)


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