Consider the following system of inequalities:
$Ax=b$; $x\geq 0$;
A is a $m\times n$ (nonsquare) and sparse matrix in which some part of entries are rational. How this system can be solved without using linear programming?
Consider the following system of inequalities: $Ax=b$; $x\geq 0$; A is a $m\times n$ (nonsquare) and sparse matrix in which some part of entries are rational. How this system can be solved without using linear programming? 


From http://www.faqs.org/faqs/linearprogrammingfaq/ Q6.4: "I just want to know whether or not a feasible solution exists." A: From the standpoint of computational complexity, finding out if an LP model has a feasible solution is essentially as hard as actually finding the optimal LP solution, within a factor of 2 on average, in terms of effort in the Simplex Method; plug your problem into a normal LP solver with any objective function you like, such as c=0. For MIP models, it's also difficult  if there exists no feasible solution, then you must go through the entire Branch and Bound procedure (or whatever algorithm you use) to prove this. There are no shortcuts in general, unless you know something useful about your model's structure (e.g., if you are solving some form of a transportation problem, you may be able to assure feasibility by checking that the sources add up to at least as great a number as the sum of the destinations). 

