# Some general theory behind lower bounds ?

Hello

Is it possible to decide whether a given or calculated lower bound is the optimal solution for a problem, like a Arc Routing Problem? If yes, when is a lower bound the optimal solution?

I just finished a thesis dealing Arc Routing Problem and I used the Matching Lower Bound theory on my instances. But i never got the full understanding of when you can use the lower bound as the optimal solution.

Thanks.

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Your basically asking: how do we find the global optimum solution to an optimization problem. This is of course a very important question, but unanswerable. –  Chris Godsil Apr 8 '13 at 14:40