October 4, 2006

Sandia releases free to the public Acro 1.0 optimization software

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Acro 1.0 optimization software, developed by a Sandia National Laboratories team led by Bill Hart, has recently been released to the public and is available at no charge.

Optimization software can be used to answer questions such: as How will a drug molecule bind to a target protein? or How should the military distribute spare parts to maximize the reliability of its combat equipment? Such questions require selecting a best alternative from an enormous set of possibilities.

“Acro puts together different optimization software applications into one large package, making it easier to solve large-scale engineering and scientific problems,” Hart says.

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

Acro integrates many optimization software applications, with most written in the C++ programming language. A user can combine various optimization components to develop an optimization capability that meets a particular need. This flexibility makes Acro a valuable tool for problem solving, particularly for applications that need to integrate an optimization capability into their existing application software.

Primary Acro users are academics and commercial companies seeking to solve specific science and engineering problems such as engineering design, inventory management, and molecular prediction. Acro is part of DOE’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) efforts and supports interactions with the Department of Homeland Security, computing activities in a water initiative with the Environmental Protection Agency, and military logistics operations with Lockheed Martin.

Hart says he and his team have been developing Acro for the past year-and-a-half. Both Sandia-developed and off-the-shelf software are included in Acro. In particular, Acro integrates Sandia’s APPSPACK, Coliny, OPT++ and PICO optimization software. Acro includes optimization techniques like linear programming, mixed-integer linear programming, derivative-free local search, and genetic algorithms.

Sandia is giving Acro away free to encourage external collaborators to use it and make suggestions for improvements. Acro Version 1.0 is available for download under the terms of the Lesser GNU license from the following web site: For more information contact

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Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Chris Burroughs,, (505) 844-0948