The primary users of CBC are expected to be developers implementing customized branch-and-cut algorithms in C++ using CBC as a library. Consequently, this document assumes a working knowledge of C++, including basic object-oriented programming terminology, and familiarity with the fundamental concepts of linear programming (LP) and mixed integer programming (MIP).

CBC relies on other parts of the COIN repository. CBC needs a LP solver and relies on the COIN Open Solver Inteface (OSI) to communicate with the user's choice of solver. Any LP solver with an OSI interface can be used with CBC. The LP solver expected to be used most commonly is COIN's native linear program solver, CLP. For cut generators, CBC relies on the COIN Cut Generation Library (CGL). Any cut generator written to CGL standards can be used with CBC. Some of the cut generators in CGL rely on other parts of COIN, e.g., CGL's Gomory cut generator rely on the factorization functionality of CoinFactorization. This document assumes basic familiarity with OSI and CGL.

Technically speaking, CBC accesses the solver (and sometime the model and data it contains) through an OSISolverInterface. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to the OsiSolverInterface as "the solver" in this document, rather than "the standard application programming interface to the solver." We hope any confusion caused by blurring this distinction will be mitigated by the shorter sentences.

In summary, readers should have the following prerequisites:

  • C++ knowledge,
  • LP and MIP fundamentals, and
  • OSI familiarity.