Running the optimization

The Run tab is the last step before running your project's optimization. The Figure 1 below shows its interface and in sequence we will discuss each part.

Figure 1 - Run tab

1. Editing scenario name

At this part is possible to check the saving parameters, such as the Decision Tree where the scenario will be inserted, scenario's name and description.

2. Export to CSV

Allows choosing to export the surfaces to a CSV file and/or the block model, with other options such as: all blocks mined; only mined blocks, coordinates and indices.

3. Time limit

It is possible to indicate a time limit in hours before running a scenario in the “Run” tab as depicted in Fig. 1. The time limit is defined in hours due to the usual complexity of mining projects and by the fact that MiningMath will always try to deliver a reasonable solution.

3.1 How does it work?

MiningMath is built via a global and interactive algorithm. It solves the entire mining optimization after formulating a global mathematical model. The result of such optimization might deliver a solution with room for improvement, due to necessary approximations for solving complex non-linear restrictions, such as the geometric ones, or due to infeasibilities identified in the problem’s restrictions. In turn, if an improvement is possible, another iteration of the global algorithm is prepared and executed.

Therefore, in order to deliver any solution, the whole mining problem needs to be solved at least once, making a more fine-grained time limit (i.e. seconds or minutes) not possible to be set. In other words, the time limit is evaluated before each iteration of a global optimization that executes multiple times as depicted in Fig. 2.

Figure 2: MiningMath’s execution schema and time limit evaluation.

The algorithm is designed in such a way that it is able to adjust subsequent iterations once it has identified that the time limit becomes restricted. However, it is important to highlight two aspects of such adjustment:

  1. It will not interrupt the current iteration of the algorithm. Hence, while it is expected that this adjustment will help the execution to achieve the desired time limit, it is still possible that it will take more than what was defined.

  2. Once an adjustment is made, a different problem will be defined and consequently new solutions will be explored. Thus, while unlikely, there is a chance that solutions will end up better than those unrestricted in relation to time. Therefore, despite not being implemented for this purpose, the time limit might be used to find more diverse solutions. For instance, you might build decision trees with different time limits. Even if better results are not obtained, fast solutions will still give you a quicker assessment of your project.

4. Reports visualization

The lower part of the screen allows you to view the results, in CSV, if the scenario has already been run, inside the software, facilitating strategic decisions.

5. Run button

After everything is checked, just Run the scenario.

6. Progress bar

With the progress bar you can monitor the execution of the scenario and the estimated time it will take to be completely executed, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 - Progress bar