TDA206/DIT370, Period 3, 2015: Discrete Optimization




Lecture Notes

Times and Places

Monday 10:00-11:45, room VO11: lecture.
Wednesday 10:00-11:45, room VO12: lecture.

Book a consultation time by email when you need special help.

Brief Course Description and Goals

You learn in this course specific methods to model and solve problems where some objective function shall be maximized or minimized under side constraints, especially for discrete problems, i.e., such with countable objects and integer variables.

After the course you should be able to:


Linear algebra, algorithms, data structures. Some knowledge of graph theory is helpful, too, however, graph concepts will be introduced when needed.


Grading is based on compulsory hand-in exercises and a take-home exam which count equally. (Details about the exam will be announced in good time.) We do not use a point system and predefined thresholds, but we record the exercise comments and apply the following grading criteria.

5/VG: Your solutions are correct and also well explained, with at most minor errors.
4/G: Mainly good solutions, but also some errors or gaps remain.
3/G: You show a basic understanding and could manage the majority of exercises.
U: Insufficient understanding and fundamental errors in most exercises.

Hence not all exercises need to be "OK'd" to pass the course; but your ability to solve them is decisive for the grade. You may ask at any time during the course what your expected grade would be, based on your performance shown so far.

As there is no scheduled re-exam, you can improve your grade by an individual extra assignment that addresses weak points. (However, this is not only a formality, you must really achieve a level that justifies a higher grade.) You can express interest before 15 April, and then the given assignment must be finished before the end of period 4. - Note that this does not apply to GU students, according to GU regulations.

General Rules and Policies

Read them carefully and take them very seriously.

Exercise Submission

Seeking Help

It may happen that you have read and understood the material but still cannot manage an exercise. This is not necessarily a bad sign. Problem solving requires own thinking, trying different ways, detours, and so on. We are happy to help, but make a serious effort first, and specify your difficulties.

A good question is:
"I have tried approach X, but I got stuck at this point Y, because of Z. Can you give further advice?"

Bad questions are:
"Can you give me a hint where to start?"
"This is my idea - am I on the right track?"
"Where can I read more about the exercise?"