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Excel Scientific and Engineering Cookbook by David M Bourg

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13.6. Understanding Solver Reports

Problem

You know that Solver can generate several types of reports upon finding a solution to a problem and you'd like to learn more about these.

Solution

The version of Solver that ships with Excel can generate three reports: an Answer report, a Sensitivity report, and a Limits report. These reports are described in the following discussion.

Discussion

Solver's three reports are helpful when interpreting the results obtained by Solver. When it finds a solution, you're presented with a dialog box containing a message regarding the nature of the solution found. You can choose which Solver reports , if any, to generate. (See the introduction to Chapter 9 for more information.) Solver will generate the selected reports in separate worksheets that it will create automatically. Each of the three available report types is explained in the following sections.

Answer report

Figure 13-15 shows an example Answer report. This is the Answer report for the problem solved in Recipe 13.1.

Answer reports show the initial and final values of the objective (Target Cell) and all variables (Adjustable Cells). You can quickly see from these reports how close your initial guess was to the optimal solution.

This report also shows the optimum values for all constraints, including a note indicating which constraints were actually binding. For Not Binding constraints, the amount of slack is also reported. The slack on a constraint tells you how far away a constraint is from becoming ...

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