Adding a new Mod

The goal of the OptiMods is to create and maintain an open-source Python repository of implemented optimization use cases. Each use case will have clear, informative, and pretty documentation that explains both how to use it and the mathematical model behind it for interested readers.

We hope to grow the collection of Mods over time, and welcome your contributions. This page outlines what makes a good Mod, and what you will need to consider when developing your contribution.

Proposing a new Mod

To propose a new Mod, create an issue in our repository using the ‘New Mod Proposal’ template to gather the required details. One of the maintainers will reach out to you on the issue to discuss the proposed topic and design.

A good Mod:

  • solves well-known, well-defined problem from a non-optimization field;

  • has a simple interface that shields the user from interacting with gurobipy directly;

  • is self-contained, and follows a clean data-in data-out style leaning on standard packages from the python ecosystem (numpy, scipy, and pandas are our first-class citizens);

  • is accompanied by clear documentation that provides background information for the topic and a formal statement of the problem in the domain language of the target user; and

  • includes runnable example codes and presentation of results in the documentation so users can hit the ground running.

Starting work on a Mod

First, carefully read Contributing to OptiMods for details on coding standards, and how to get set up to work on the project. Set up your development environment as described, and ensure that you can successfully run the tests and build the docs on your local machine.

Assign yourself (or ask to be assigned) to the relevant Mod proposal issue in the Github repository. You should then fork Gurobi/gurobi-optimods to your own Github account to prepare your submission.

Implementation and tests

Create src/gurobi_optimods/<mod>.py where your implementation will live, and tests/test_<mod>.py where your unit tests will live. A basic implementation of a Mod takes this form:

import logging

import gurobipy as gp

from gurobi_optimods.utils import optimod

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

def my_mod(data, *, create_env):
    """An optimod that solves an important problem

    :param data: Description of argument
    :type data: Type of argument

    ... describe additional arguments ...

    :return: Description of returned result
    :rtype: Type of returned result

    # ... Prepare data ...

    with create_env() as env, gp.Model(env=env) as model:

        # ... Formulate model ...


        # ... Extract and post-process the solution ...

        return solution

Mods should be stateless with respect to gurobipy objects. This means Gurobi environments and models are created within a Mod function, and closed before the function returns using context managers. Gurobi environments should be created by calling create_env. This function is provided to your Mod by the @optimod() decorator and supplies some necessary parameters to Gurobi to handle console output and log files consistently across Mods. The standard parameters verbose and logfile are also handled by the decorator and will be included automatically in the API documentation.

If your Mod needs to produce any output, use the built-in python logging call

You should also include your Mod in the API Reference by adding appropriate autodoc references to docs/source/api.rst.

Preparing documentation

Create docs/source/mods/<mod>.rst as the documentation page for your Mod. As each Mod is different, there is no specific template for this, but please use the existing Mod pages as a guide.

A reference to your page must also be added to docs/source/gallery.rst to include it in the gallery page and toctree when the documentation is built. You should also add an icon to the gallery card for your Mod.

Your documentation page must contain example codes that new users can immediately use, with presentation of the results included in the documentation page.

The implementation of the Mod (description of the mathematical model or algorithms used) should be hidden from the user at first glance. We use the .. dropdown: directive for this. Any mathematical and algorithmic details should be placed in a dropdown and clearly indicate that this is advanced detail the user does not need to fully understand in order to use the Mod.

Including datasets

Some of your examples may rely on datasets. These can be packaged with the optimods to enable users to quickly reproduce the examples in your documentation.

  • Any data files should live under a subdirectory src/gurobi_optimods/data/<mod-name> to reduce clutter.

  • The gurobi_optimods.datasets module should implement a function that fetches the dataset.

Submitting a pull request

You can submit your pull request at any time in draft mode so the maintainers are aware your Mod is actively being worked on. This should be a pull request from a branch on your fork into gurobi-optimods/main. Pull requests include a checklist of features to ensure your Mod is correctly included in the Python package and the built documentation.

When your Mod is ready for review, take your PR out of draft mode and request a review.