Solver (computer science)

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A solver is a generic term indicating a piece of mathematical software, possibly in the form of a stand-alone computer program or as a software library, that 'solves' a mathematical problem, including:

  • Linear and non-linear equations, or systems of such equations. In this case the "solver" is more appropriately called a root-finding algorithm.
  • Linear and non-linear optimisation problems
  • Systems of ordinary differential equations
  • Systems of differential algebraic equations
  • Logic/satisfiability problems
  • Constraint satisfaction problems
  • Shortest path problems
  • Minimum spanning tree problems

The General Problem Solver is a particular computer program created in 1957 by Herbert Simon, J.C. Shaw, and Allen Newell intended to work as a universal problem solver, that theoretically can be used to solve every possible problem that can be formalized in a symbolic system, given the right input configuration. It was the first computer program which separated its knowledge of problems from its strategy of how to solve problems.

See also

  • Mathematical software for other types of mathematical software.
  • Problem Solving Environment: a specialized software combining automated problem-solving methods with human-oriented tools for guiding the problem resolution.