According to some tables in the book Operations Research by Hamdy Taha(7th edition), it seems that for a variable whose optimal value is zero, reduced cost can be evaluated by the following formulas:

reduced cost = MaxObjCoeff - CurrObjCoeff (for max problems)


reduced cost = MinObjCoeff - CurrObjCoeff (for min problems)

I should note that the interval [MinObjCoeff, MaxObjCoeff] is the optimality range of CurrObjCoeff in the graphical sensitivity analysis.

I wonder if these formulas always work? Could anyone explain this for me please?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The reduced cost can be calculated as $C_j-Z_j = C_j-C_bB^{-1}a_j$. Where $C_j$ is the current objective coefficient and $C_b$ is the objective coefficient in the basic matrix. Now, for any non-basic variables, it might be positive or negative, depending on the direction of the objective function. For example, in the minimization problem, to move a variable into the basic, it needs to have the negative reduced cost and vice versa. Would you please, say what you mean by Max or Min object coefficients? $\endgroup$
    – A.Omidi
    Aug 28, 2022 at 11:09
  • $\begingroup$ @A.Omidi The interval [MinObjCoeff, MaxObjCoeff] is the optimality range of CurrObjCoeff. $\endgroup$
    – user10291
    Aug 29, 2022 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure you got those formulas correct? Given the order of subtraction, your first formula (max - current) implies a nonnegative reduced cost and your second formula implies a nonpositive reduced cost. A positive reduced cost for a nonbasic variable implies a minimization problem and a negative reduced cost implies a maximization problem, so line 1 must be for a min problem and line 2 for a max problem ... but having an upper (lower) limit on the objective coefficient of a nonbasic variable occurs in a max (min) problem, which is backwards from what you have. $\endgroup$
    – prubin
    Nov 17, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


As I understand suppose $z= 6x+2y-1$ then max of z would be at $x,y=(6,0)$ for x bounded by $[0,6]$ and $y=[0,3]$. Imagine z is the negative sloping line or contour in x-y plane. Slope of contour z is -3. What's the minimum amt by which coeff of y to be increased to make value of $y>0$ and increase max value of z? In other words how much slope needs to be reduced to make y a basic variable.


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