IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio Review

Facilitates constraint programming, a feature that is hard to find anywhere else


What is our primary use case?

We are modeling different problems such radiation therapy optimization using CPLEX.

It is great, actually. It is great for small to medium size problems. When it goes to larger problems it is slow, but it is still understandable, it is still manageable.

What is most valuable?

Simplicity, and it's very comprehensive, a lot of information is there. And because many people are using it you can find almost whatever your question is online.

Another feature that I like is that you can do a lot of constraint programming, which is a unique feature in CPLEX, you cannot do this almost anywhere else.

What needs improvement?

I think one important feature to improve would be the speed of solving the problems. I know that CPLEX and other companies are trying to build new models, a new solution base to enhance the speed of solving problems. I think that is important. 

Also, it would be helpful if you had a more straightforward base to connect CPLEX to other software - to Java, to Python, and others. Make a platform so that it can be connected it to simulation software. That would be a plus.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When the problem is too large we use Gurobi at the same time. There are ways to connect these things. It's a little hard but it's still possible. So, Gurobi as a solver sometimes. 

I used AMPL but I feel that CPLEX is much bigger, much more professional and easier to use.

I was also using another software called Lindo, but that couldn't handle any big problems. I ended up searching for better solutions and I realized that our university has CPLEX, so I started using CPLEX and that was a life changing.

The constraint programming feature in CPLEX was something that pushed me as well. One of the problems I was solving should have been modeled as a constraint program model.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding advice to a colleague who is considering using CPLEX, I would say look into a very simple example. And there are handbooks available to guide you in CPLEX. Start to go through them and you can see how you can model it very easily, and you can get used to it, and then make more complex models.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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