Linear Programming, mathematical and operations_research technique, used in administrative and economic planning to maximize the linear functions of a large number of variables, subject to certain constraints. The development of high_speed electronic computers and data_processing techniques has brought about many recent advances in linear programming, and the technique is now widely used in industrial and military operations. Linear programming is basically used to find a set of values, chosen from a prescribed set of numbers, that will maximize or minimize a given polynomial form and this is illustrated by the finished; the manufacturer knows that as many articles as are produced can be sold.
In medicine, programs have been developed that analyze the disease symptoms, medical history, and laboratory test results of a patient, and then suggest a diagnosis to the physician. The diagnostic program is an example of so_called expert systems_programs designed to perform tasks in specialized areas as a human would. Expert systems take computers a step beyond straightforward programming, being based on a technique called rule_based inference, in which preestablished rule systems are used to process the data. Despite their sophistication, systems still do not approach the complexity of true intelligent thought.