In this paper, the simplex algorithm and its variants are investigated. First, we define a new concept called formal tableau, which leads to derive easily the dual solution from the latest primal table; without any distinction between the original variables and the slack ones. Second, we propose a new method for initializing the simplex algorithm. Unlike the two-phase and the big-M methods, our technique does not involve artificial variables. The computational results reveal that this new method is very favorable especially when the number of artificial variables is significant. Finally, this method will be combined with the notion of formal tableau leading naturally to a second new approach. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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