Mining Problem


 Pit Mining:

Online Instructions

Drawing Ore Deposits

The most important part of this application is drawing in the gold ore deposits. You can draw them in any shape or size you wish. To start drawing an ore deposit, click down on the mouse anywhere in the black and gray grid. Keep holding the mouse button down!

Drag the mouse along to draw out the shape of the deposit you wish to create. You will see a yellow line trailing behind the mouse. You do not need to return the mouse to the original starting position to create a complete ore deposit. Rather, as soon as you release the mouse button, the application will draw a line back to the starting point and fill in the enitire ore deposit in yellow.

You can now move the mouse to a new position to begin to draw a new deposit. You can draw as many ore deposits as you like.

If you decide you do not like a deposit that you just created, click on the Delete Last button to remove it. If you click on the button repeatedly, you can remove all of the deposits one by one. However, if you wish to remove all of the deposits, the Reset button is much quicker.

When you are satisfied with the ore structure you have created, click on the Submit button.

You can try the application now, or continue reading about other features of the application.

Selecting the Values

The reason this application is non-trivial is because it is a trade-off. You have to remove lots of worthless earth to expose the valuable ore. If the earth is very expensive to remove, it may not be worth it to dig the ore. Also, if the ore is not worth much, you might not make enough money to justify removing the earth. Similarly, if the earth is very cheap to remove or the ore is very valuable, you may wish to dig up all of the ore regardless of the amount of earth you have to move in the process.

These values are controlled by the Cost and Value text boxes at the bottom of the application. Enter in any numbers you wish into the boxes. Afterwards, click on the Update button to 'commit' the values.

You can change the values any number of times before hitting the Update button. If you enter a bad value (e.g. the word 'dog' instead of a number), the application will tell you after you click on the button. After hitting the Update button, click on the submit button to re-submit the problem to the server.

You are welcom to try it out now.

Changing the Grid

You can change the number of rows and columns in the mining grid by use of the Width and Height text boxes at the bottom of the appliation.

Again, you type in the numeric values in the text boxes and click on the Update button. The width (number of columns) must be between 5 and 50. The height (number of rows) must be between 4 and 40. As before, if you make a mistake, the application will tell you after you press the button.


Note that the calculating process may take some time, and that status messages will be displayed to you in the application window to let you know the current status of your problem.

When all calculations are complete and the data has been submitted to our servers for processing, the application will the redisplay the ore samples and then highlight in blue the blocks that you should mine to achieve maximum profit.

After the calculation is complete, you can add more deposits by simply drawing them on the screen - the application will remove the blue blocks as soon as you do. You can also change the values without changing any of the ore deposits by just entering new values, as outlined above.

[ Open Pit Mining | Instructions | Details | See a Demo | Try It! ]


Copyright 1997 Professor Dorit Hochbaum