Open Source replacements for Operations Research and Analytics Software

April 21, 2011

(This article was first published on Maximize Productivity with Industrial Engineer and Operations Research Tools, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I was reading an article from Datamation on 70 Open Source Replacements for Small Business when I noticed a glaring omission.  Where are the software applications for Operations Research and Analytics?  So here is my best addendum to this article that should complete what small business should know about Open Source analytics productivity software.

Statistics and Computation

1.  R Project

Replaces: SAS, SPSS

R is a free and open source statistical computing environment that holds its own against some of the most established proprietary statistical environments.  R is available on all operating systems and is free for download.  R also has a community driven library of add-on packages that are also freely available and cover almost any statistical, mathematical, or optimization need.

Also a great reference manual for those switching from SAS to R is SAS and R: Data Management, Statistical Analysis, and Graphics

SAS and R: Data Management, Statistical Analysis, and Graphics

2.  RapidMiner

Replaces:  KnowledgeSEEKER

RapidMiner is a data mining software with a graphical front-end.  RapidMiner is suitable for most data mining and data transformation needs.

Mathematical Programming and Optimization

3.  GLPK

Replaces:  AMPL

GLPK is a GNU/free software linear programming software kit.  GLPK is intended for large-scale linear programming, mixed integer programming.  GLPK is based on GNU MathProg (or GMPL) which is considered a subset of the AMPL syntax.  GLPK also has its own solver.

4.  Symphony

Replaces: CPLEX, Gurobi

Symphony is a mixed integer linear programming solver developed under COIN-OR.  Symphony is a flexible framework that offers many methods to customize solver capabilities given problem sets.

5.  OpenSolver

Replaces:  Excel Solver

OpenSolver is a linear an integer optimizer alternative to the Excel Solver in Microsoft Excel.  OpenSolver is based on the COIN-OR CBC engine.  Unlike the Excel Solver there is no software limits to the size of the problem that can be solved.

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