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Custom Constraints

This table is used within the Network Optimization experiment only. It is used to set conditions for the existing Product flows, Product storages and Production constraints by comparing the values to each other or to the constants created and defined here. The experiment does not consider the result of the expression if it does not satisfy the defined conditions.

Custom constraints work as an expression with its left side value compared to the right side value per specified type of comparison.

The result of this expression is a condition limiting existing constraint (specified in the Left-Hand Side) to a certain point, thus providing the NO experiment with a more detailed requirements as to the possible locations of the DCs.

e.g. (5 * a) (-2 * b), where the constraint specified in the Left-Hand Side must be greater than the value of the expression in the Right-Hand Side.

See the NO Shared Resource Optimization (with Custom Constraints) example for practical usage of constraints.

Column Description

Left-Hand Side

Allows you to define the left part of the expression that will be compared to the right-hand side value. It may be:

  1. Assigned name — allows you to specify the name of the custom constraint that will be further used in the custom Expression.
  2. Expression — custom expression that will be compared to the Right-hand side column. This expression consists of:
    • Coefficient — [by default 1 is specified] the value the Variable must be multiplied by.
    • Variable — one of the existing constraints (defined in the Custom constraints, Product flows, Product storages or Production tables).

    e.g. Coefficient2.65, Variable — Product Flows 1 = the specified flow will be multiplied by 2.65 and the resulting value will be compared per specified comparison type to the right-hand side value.

Here you can specify numerous conditions for existing constraints across the supply chain. The value in this column will constitute a sum or difference (if negative coefficient is set) of all the specified conditions.

Type

The type of comparison applied to the left and right sides of the custom constraint items.

Right-Hand Side

Allows you to either define the right part of the expression that the left part will be compared to, or set the type of the variable specified in the left part. It can be of the following types:

  • Continuous variable — a variable which can take on a value within the range of the specified lower bound and up to infinity.
  • Integer variable — a whole number that can be written without a fractional component.
  • Semi-Continuous variable — a variable which can take on a value within the specified range or zero.
  • Boolean variable — data type with only two possible values: true or false (1 or 0).
  • Linear expression — custom expression consisting of:
    • Coefficient — [by default 1 is specified] the value theVariable must be multiplied by.
    • Variable — one of the existing constraints (defined in the Custom constraints, Product flows, Product storages or Production tables).

    e.g. Coefficient2.65, VariableProduct Flows 1 = the specified flow will be multiplied by 2.65 and the resulting value will be compared per the specified comparison type to the left-hand side value.

  • Min expression — expression with the smallest resulting value will be chosen. The choice will be made among the expressions defined in the table below.
  • Max expression — expression with the largest resulting value will be chosen. The choice will be made among the expressions defined in the table below.
  • Step function — allows you to set a step function that alters the calculated value of the expression defined here by comparing it to the specified steps and setting the value corresponding to this or that step. The step function consists of:
    • Expression — the expression that is calculated.
    • Quantity — the step that is defining the new value.
    • Value — the value that the result of the calculated expression will take.
  • Limit inputs — limits the incoming flows for the following types of objects (or a group of objects): Customers, DCs, Factories. For more information refer here.
  • Limit outputs — limits the outgoing flows for the following types of objects (or a group of objects):Customers, DCs, Factories, Suppliers. For more information refer here.
  • Piecewise function — allows you to set a complex function with numerous intervals. As opposed to the steps of the step function, the intervals of the piecewise function represent a number range.
    The lower and upper boundaries of the interval are defined with a pair of table records, holding the Quantity and Value values for each boundary.
    The Piecewise function consists of:
    • Expression — the expression it is applied to.
    • Quantity — the boundary that is defining the new value.
    • Value — the value that the result of the calculated expression will take.

Inclusion Type

Defines the status of the given constraint.

  • Include — include this constraint into supply chain configuration.
  • Exclude — exclude this constraint from supply chain configuration. If selected, the table record will be grayed out to denote the current inclusion type. The table record stays editable.

    If you feel that your scenario contains too many objects marked as "Excluded" and you know that you no longer use them, you can instantly remove all such objects.

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