What's New in Solver Foundation 3.0

Solver Foundation 3.0

This topic describes some of the new features and capabilities in Microsoft Solver Foundation 3.0.

Microsoft Solver Foundation 3.0 provides new Solver Foundation Services (SFS) interfaces to support constrained non-linear programming, including INonlinearModel and ITermModel. Third-party solver developers can use these interfaces to create new solver implementations. These models are similar to ILinearModel. You can use INonlinearModel to specify nonlinear models by using arbitrary callback functions for goals and constraints. NonlinearModel is the default implementation. You can use ITermModel to specify nonlinear models by using term trees for goals and constraints. TermModel is the default implementation.

Microsoft Solver Foundation 3.0 also includes an internal nonlinear solver called the hybrid local search solver that can solve many nonlinear problems. This solver accepts any model that you can build by using the Solver Foundation Services APIs or Optimization Modeling Language (OML). For information about using the hybrid local search solver, see Solving Nonlinear Models using the Default Solver.

Solver Foundation Services and the OML include many new operators to support nonlinear programming. The new support includes trigonometric functions such as Sin(Term) in SFS, and the OML equivalent, the Sin Operator (Solver Foundation).

Enhanced error reporting is provided through the Location property. This property provides better information about the location of errors when an OmlParseException occurs. OmlParseException, a private type in previous releases, is now public.

Solver Foundation Services supports mixed-integer quadratic programming (MIQP) as a new capability for third-party solvers in Microsoft Solver Foundation 3.0.

A new tab for sets appears in the UI of the Excel add-in. Previously, sets were embedded within the UI for parameters and decisions. This change abstracts and simplifies the use of sets in data binding scenarios, and enables you to use a set more than once in a single parameter or decision. The updated UI also enables you to specify a domain for a set. For an example that use the set UI, see Walkthrough: Binding Data to Parameters.

Microsoft Solver Foundation 3.0 supports the use of a configuration file in the Excel add-in. By adding a configuration file, you can use a third-party solver with the add-in. For additional information, see How to: Change the Default Solver.

Additional samples demonstrate using nonlinear programming. For more information, see Samples for Solver Foundation.