School of Computer Sciences Western Illinois University

School of Computer Sciences
IS 524
Western Illinois University
MSS I – LP Models
This assignment is intended to reinforce the class discussion of Management Support Systems, LP
models. The assignment is to solve a product mix problem using an open source software called LP
Solve. Once you solve the problem you have to use a screen capture utility (e.g. share X) to clip the
solution from LP Solve. (do not use shift print screen). Screen capture programs need to run in
memory to work. They generally have a hot key and a destination folder that can be set. The capture area
can be the whole screen or a specified rectangle. Obviously, it’s the latter you will use. These also can be
set. Actual screen capture takes place when you press the hot key and select a rectangular region. It then
sends the screen shot to a destination folder. It will also capture it to the clip board and you can paste it
using Ctrl-V. Please note that you will not be able to install these software on university computers,
so you may have to find a PC off campus to do the assignment.
An Example Problem
An aircraft manufacturing company needs to decide how many of two-engine (a2), three-engine (a3) and
four-engine (a4) models to produce monthly in order to maximize its profits. The profit contributions and
constraints are as follows:
Profit contribution -- a2: $500,000 a3: 600,000 a4:800,000
a2, a3, a4 require two, three and four engines respectively
maximum # of available engines are 100 per month
a2, a3, a4 require 135, 175 and 205 seats respectively
there is a limit of 6000 seats per month
a2, a3, a4 require 150 , 175 and 200 lbs of aluminium and there is a limit of 8,000 lbs per month.
the plant capacity is limited to 80 aircraft of any type
a2 = # of two engined aircraft
a3 = # of three engined aircraft
a4 = # of four engine aircraft
The objective function is what the program/organization wants. In this case, it is to maximize profits.
This is written as follows:
Max: a2 * 500000 + a3 * 600000 + a4 * 800000
The constraints are that a2, a3 and a4 require 2, 3 and 4 engines but only 100 engines are available per
month. The constraint is written as shown below.
a2 * 2 + a3 * 3 + a4 * 4 <= 100
Other constraints are written as follows:
a2 * 135 + a3 * 175 + a4 * 205 <= 6000
a2 * 150 + a3 * 175 + a4 * 200 <= 8000
a2 + a3 + a4 <= 80
These constraints are entered into LP Solve as shown below.
Solve this by selecting ‘Solve’ from ‘Action’. Then press the result tab.
The solution we get is 26.92 for a2, 0 for a3 and 11.53 for a4. Obviously these have to be integer
numbers since it is not meaningful to propose a fraction of a product as an output.
The problem is:
The Electrocomp Corporation manufactures three electrical products: air conditioners (AC), large fans
(LF) and industrial heaters (IH). The assembly process for each is similar in that all require a certain
amount of wiring and drilling. Each air conditioner takes 3 hours of wiring and 2 hours of drilling. Each
fan must go through 2 hours of wiring and 1 hour of drilling. Each industrial heater takes 5 hours of
wiring and 5 hours of drilling. During the next production period, 400 hours of wiring time are available
and up to 250 hours of drilling time may be used. Each air conditioner sold yields a profit of $25. Each
large fan assembled may be sold for a $15 profit, while industrial heaters sell for a $40 profit.
The three units require purchased components, the cost of which cannot exceed $6500.
Using the abbreviations as given, formulate this as an LP problem to decide how many airconditioners
(AC), how many Large Fans (LF) and how many Industrial Heaters to manufacture in order to maximize
Then solve this using LPSolve.
What you need to submit:
Copy and paste your constraints (source) into a word document using a screen capture program and
include a screen shot of the solution -- Clip only those parts as displayed in the screenshots of this
assignment. In other words do not do a screen dump!
Where to get the software if working from home:
ShareX (Zscreen)
Screen capture
MSS II – BI with MicroStrategy
Overview of the Project
In this project, you will register with Tera Data University Network (TUN) as a student. Once you get the
registration confirmation, you will login. TUN is a provider of data warehousing materials and includes an online
version of Microstrategy 9, a BI reporting tool. The following tutorial is intended to teach you how to use the
system. If not familiar repeat it. Develop and use your KNOW HOW to answer the questions and to support your
Go to and select ‘registration’ you should see the screen as below.
Register with Teradata University Network as a student using the password given in class. Register, using the
registration screen, part of which is shown below.
You will receive registration confirmation via email. Use the information to login. Once you are logged in, go to
the TUN web site go into Software tab and select Microstrategy. Then go to ‘Microstrategy 9 Analysis Modules’
and then ‘Sales Force Analysis’. You may need to go into other modules to answer questions.
How to Run Reports
Click on ‘Shared Reports’, ‘product sales analysis’.
Select ‘product performance summary by quarter.’ Select ‘2009’ (already selected!) and select ‘run
report’ icon.
It should show the base report like this. You will create a report from this data
How to Customize a Report
Click on design icon shown below.
Drag all columns from the pane on the right to the ‘tree’ structure on the left, except for ‘Metrics’ and
‘Revenue’. The result is a blank report design as seen below:
Right click on Quarter and convert report to rows. If you make a mistake, select and right click on
‘quarter’ and correct the mistake.
Drag and drop the other columns shown below into the pane on the right. (The only column is “# of
orders containing product” that is not dragged and dropped.) . The result should look like this:
The step above has to be done right the first time or you have to go back to ‘shared reports’ and start
again (see comments at end). If you find the menu bar blank as shown below, this means the system has
a problem.
Run report using the icon on left (see below). Note that you can also create a graph by clicking the graph
icon below.
You will get a report part of which is as shown below.
Feel free to explore other reports within the “Shared reports” under the main module (sales force analysis
– see below). You are welcome to go into other modules as well.
Now you have an understanding of how the tools work.
Questions on the Data
See if you can take advantage of the native tools to answer the following questions.
a. Which product(s) has (have) the highest quarterly revenue of all quarters? How much? In which
quarter? (2.5 pts)
b. Which service(s) has (have) the highest quarterly revenue of all quarters? How much? In which
quarter? (2.5 pts)
c. What was the total revenue in the United States, in 2009 for the month of April (i.e. part of Quarter2)
(2.5 pts).
d. What percentage of the customers are in the age group 41-60? (2.5 pts).
You are completely on your own here, but for (c) you do not need to go outside the ‘salesforce analysis’
Submission and Requirements
1. Submit typed answers to data questions along with the questions themselves.
2. Clip relevant parts of reports/graphs (please do not include complete report or complete screen) using a
screen capture tool such as ‘snap’ to substantiate your answers. You may need to learn about screen
capture tools by making use of online resources. You can go to and download screen
capture tools such as ShareX (only if you are using your own machine).
Please note that there is a standard five point penalty for not meeting submission requirements.
Additional Notes
Please note that the system runs slowly during the day. Secondly, please note that if you did not get it
right, you need to back up, using the selection at the top of the screen (shown here).
There is no way to correct problems in reports except to re-start from the base report (better to go back to
‘shared reports’). In some cases, it is better to log out and log back in.