Simulated annealing is a fascinating algorithm that's designed to help find a particular type of solution (near-optimal, aka "good enough") to a particular type of problem (constrained optimization). It's inspired by the science of metallurgy, and because it's grounded in a real-world process I find it incredibly approachable. In this talk I'll explain in plain terms about what simulated annealing is, what a constrained optimization problem is, why you might want a "good enough" solution, and how we can use the Annealing gem to add simulated annealing to our Ruby apps.

December 05, 2022