A unique approach to maximizing NPV


Time Limit

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It is possible to indicate a time limit in hours before running a scenario in the “Run” tab as depicted in Fig. 1. The time limit is defined in hours due to the usual complexity of mining projects and by the fact that MiningMath will always try to deliver a reasonable solution.

Time limit option in the interface
Figure1: Time limit option in the interface

MiningMath is built via a global and interactive algorithm. It solves the entire mining optimization after formulating a global mathematical model. The result of such optimization might deliver a solution with room for improvement, due to necessary approximations for solving complex non-linear restrictions, such as the geometric ones, or due to infeasibilities identified in the problem’s restrictions. In turn, if an improvement is possible, another iteration of the global algorithm is prepared and executed.

Therefore, in order to deliver any solution, the whole mining problem needs to be solved at least once, making a more fine-grained time limit (i.e. seconds or minutes) not possible to be set. In other words, the time limit is evaluated before each iteration of a global optimization that executes multiple times as depicted in Fig. 2.

Figure 2: MiningMath’s execution schema and time limit evaluation.

The algorithm is designed in such a way that it is able to adjust subsequent iterations once it has identified that the time limit becomes restricted. However, it is important to highlight two aspects of such adjustment:

  1. It will not interrupt the current iteration of the algorithm. Hence, while it is expected that this adjustment will help the execution to achieve the desired time limit, it is still possible that it will take more than what was defined.

  2. Once an adjustment is made, a different problem will be defined and consequently new solutions will be explored. Thus, while unlikely, there is a chance that solutions will end up better than those unrestricted in relation to time. Therefore, despite not being implemented for this purpose, the time limit might be used to find more diverse solutions. For instance, you might build decision trees with different time limits. Even if better results are not obtained, fast solutions will still give you a quicker assessment of your project.


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