# Artificial variable

### From Glossary

A variable, say , added to an equation, . The resulting system, , is feasible upon letting for a chosen . The objective function is modified to penalize nonzero values of . Often, is required, multiplying by -1 if necessary. This originated in linear programming, where a Phase I objective is used to find a solution with (or ascertain that the original system has no feasible solution) by minimizing (ignoring the original objective, ).