artificial variable

artificial variable

[¦ärd·ə¦fish·əl ′ver·ē·ə·bəl]
(industrial engineering)
One type of variable introduced in a linear program model in order to find an initial basic feasible solution; an artificial variable is used for equality constraints and for greater-than or equal inequality constraints.
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The big M method and two -stage way are usually adopted to construct a unit matrix as a initial basis through to introduce some artificial variables first, then make the iteration of simplex method.