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Reduced cost

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In linear programming, reduced cost, or opportunity cost, is the amount by which an objective function coefficient would have to improve before it would be possible for a corresponding variable to assume a positive value in the optimal solution. It is the cost for increasing a variable by a small amount, i.e., the first derivative from a certain point on the polyhedron that constrains the problem. When the point is a vertex in the polyhedron, the variable with the most extreme cost, negatively for minimization and positively maximization, is sometimes referred to as the steepest edge.
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