Chevron Left
Back to Basic Modeling for Discrete Optimization

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Basic Modeling for Discrete Optimization by The University of Melbourne

442 ratings

About the Course

Optimization is a common form of decision making, and is ubiquitous in our society. Its applications range from solving Sudoku puzzles to arranging seating in a wedding banquet. The same technology can schedule planes and their crews, coordinate the production of steel, and organize the transportation of iron ore from the mines to the ports. Good decisions in manpower and material resources management also allow corporations to improve profit by millions of dollars. Similar problems also underpin much of our daily lives and are part of determining daily delivery routes for packages, making school timetables, and delivering power to our homes. Despite their fundamental importance, all of these problems are a nightmare to solve using traditional undergraduate computer science methods. This course is intended for students interested in tackling all facets of optimization applications. You will learn an entirely new way to think about solving these challenging problems by stating the problem in a state-of-the-art high level modeling language, and letting library constraint solving software do the rest. This will allow you to unlock the power of industrial solving technologies, which have been perfected over decades by hundreds of PhD researchers. With access to this advanced technology, problems that are considered inconceivable to solve before will suddenly become easy. Watch the course promotional video here:

Top reviews


Nov 7, 2020

Excellent course! I learned a lot. Although the assignments were sometimes hard to fathom, and its online nature mean getting hints was difficult, there's enough there to help get through.


Jul 26, 2019

Thank you so much for the course. I had to fight my coding habits, programming CP models is quite different from the traditional programming I'm, and it could even be more fun!

Filter by:

76 - 100 of 106 Reviews for Basic Modeling for Discrete Optimization

By Girish B

Sep 28, 2019

Excellent course!

By Ajit B

May 21, 2018

excellent course!

By Chen H

Jan 14, 2018

Good perparation!

By jerome

Oct 29, 2017

Interesting & fun

By Richard H

Dec 21, 2020

brilliant course

By Rmn A

Jun 24, 2020

Very good course

By Dominik T

Feb 17, 2018

Terrific course

By Viet H N

Sep 10, 2021

Useful course

By Martin J

Feb 22, 2020

so very good

By Sudheer R

Feb 27, 2023

Good course

By Johan F M G

Aug 3, 2020

I loved

By Olivier M

May 17, 2020


By breezef

Sep 28, 2019


By Kenny T

Feb 14, 2017


By Paul T

Apr 11, 2020

MiniZinc is an extraordinarily useful tool, and I definitely feel I learned a great deal here that will be hugely useful in countless situations in the future. I'm also definitely moving on to the next course in Advanced Modeling ASAP. And while I found most of the general concepts fairly straightforward (I've solved most of these sorts of problems before in Excel Solver in some form or another), I was also frustrated by large gaps between the content taught in each section and the workshops at the end of that section (things I learned in each set of videos were often totally irrelevant to the later workshops and assignments), unnecessarily vague variable names (such as lower-case 'l' which looks just like the number '1' and is used in several examples), lack of downloadable example files to support the various videos, a fairly obtuse help system in MiniZinc itself that makes looking up keywords fairly difficult, sudden jumps in difficulty between the sections, too much time spent on topics irrelevant to the course (such as formatting of "output" statements, which takes the whole second half of the video for the week 4 workshop), and lots of little discrepancies between the PDF files for the various workshops and assignments and the actual workshops and assignments. This is a good course but would be a stellar one with a bit more polish to the MiniZinc help system, more polished examples, a better learning curve, and downloadable MiniZinc samples to accompany each video (really, just providing the MiniZinc files that are shown in the videos, along with a bit of reasonable sample data, would help a lot here).

By Oliver R

Apr 23, 2022

Pretty good overall. The teaching is a bit boring at times but it's not too bad. I was also hoping that using constraint modeling means you don't have to worry about efficiency. Sadly this course spent a lot of time focusing on efficiency issues. I guess solvers are not clever enough to be able to reframe a set of constraints in a more efficient way, so the user apparently needs to remember things like to convert a "not(and)" into an "or" and other tricks.

By Kittiphon P

Jun 24, 2018

The stories and examples used in the course are great and creative. I would like to thank both professors and all TAs for creating wonderful online course and for their hard work. However, some programming assignments are too tedious with too much constraints, like PA 3.


Feb 17, 2020

Super interesting. Would be nice to have corrections of the assignment too but overall, super fun.

The pdf description are sometimes unclea (constraints are sometimes put in the data description.)

By Shambo R C

May 29, 2019

great course for beginners and those who are looking for applications of optimisation. the only problem is it forces you to work with minizinc and may consume extra time than expected

By Andrew G

Oct 20, 2021

Great course. Is it "basic" though? It probably helps to have a good background in mathematical modeling , coding and optimization, this moves pretty fast. Heading to Course #2

By Michael M

Feb 24, 2019

Challenging programming assignments and helpful workshops. Good video material. Hoped to have some more real world examples, rather than just fable-based examples.

By Bhavik J

Jul 11, 2020

A classic combination of the story mode pitched in learning. I wish that the topics covered in the course were more elaborated.

By Esteban C d V

May 6, 2017

Very interesting, but I miss some theory explaining how the optimizations work behind.

By J.S. P

Sep 6, 2020

Great course. Would absolutely recommend.