There are currently several questions tagged , but this doesn't convey much meaning to me. Are there better tags we could use?

  • I'm not even sure what the tag says in the first place. Any hints? (Or is it the obvious, "Mathematica is used to solve mathematical programs with a computer"? In that case, it should simply be called programming I guess.)
    – David
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 5:11
  • 1
    When I first saw the tag, I thought of the disciplines of linear programming, dynamic programming, and integer programming, that are all about optimization. But I was mistaken, maybe we could split this tag into "mathematics" and "programming"?
    – tlehman
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 5:47
  • @Tobi: Not sure that you were the one that was mistaken. I think the phrase is just unfamiliar to people, so they incorrectly used it.
    – Simon
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


A bit of googling shows that Wikipedia (accessed via google cache because of the SOPA protest) says that its an old term for programming optimization problems:


An optimization problem can be represented in the following way << snip >>.
Such a formulation is called an optimization problem or a mathematical programming problem
(a term not directly related to computer programming, but still in use for example in linear programming - see History below).

The page http://glossary.computing.society.informs.org/index.php?page=nature.html says that

A mathematical program is an optimization problem of the form:

Maximize $f(x): x in X, g(x) <= 0, h(x) = 0$

where $X$ is a subset of $R^n$ and is in the domain of the functions, $f$, $g$ and $h$, which map into real spaces. The relations, $x$ in $X$, $g(x) <= 0$ and $h(x) = 0$ are called constraints, and $f$ is called the objective function.

So, is just a certain type of constrained optimization problem. From this point of view, all questions so far tagged with it are tagged incorrectly.

We could make a synonym for , however, the tag might get confused with ...

  • 3
    It's for this reason I was advocating not using the optimization tag. The concept of mathematical optimization should use mathematical-optimization, and anything involving program optimization should be tagged performance-tuning. I don't really understand why mathematical-programming was used. I think people used it for tagging things that were related to mathematical formulas in a programming context. Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 9:28
  • @Mike: Exactly! And a lot more concise than my answer.
    – Simon
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 9:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .