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What is an MPS file? At first glance, it may seem like a file exported from a map, but that's far from the truth. MPS stands for "Mathematical Programming System" which is a format system and all files created under this category are labeled as .MPS. These types of files are used for linear programming (LP) problems. In other words, they resolve the problems that linear programming algorithms encounter.
The information contained in MPS files follows the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) coding system and is stored as a text. Therefore, the usual programs that read text files (.txt) can also open and read MPS files.
What Is an MPS File?
The MPS file format was first developed by IBM as an LP solver, and was soon accepted by almost all similar LP solvers as the standard format. But over time, other models like "AMPL", "GAMS" and "nl file format" replaced this once popular format. That's why only a small percentage of LP solvers nowadays are stored as .MPS file.
As was mentioned earlier, MPS follows ASCII coding system and all its data is stored in separate columns. Each column has its unique label or name and the related information is stored accordingly. Overall, this type of storing data is outdated and reminds one of the old working-hours cards used by factory workers.
Not only the storing system, but also the technical aspects of MPS files lack modern features. Limited number of number characters, lack of direction of optimization and messy storing algorithms are among the downsides of these files.
MPS File Features
- MPS file is used by LP solvers
- ASCII is the coding standard used by MPS files
- MPS format is outdated and several new systems have replaced it
- Since MPS file stores text, the usual Text programs can read it
- MPS files have several limitations
How to Open MPS Files?
As was noted, all the usual Text programs can open and read MPS files. Therefore, users can use the following programs to open an MPS file on different platforms.
MS Word, as one of the most popular programs in the world, can also open MPS files too. But this option is not recommended since the data will not be appeared as it's meant to.
Some programs use the MPS format to store their data as well. Among them are Garmin MapSource data, Microsoft Pocket Streets Map and MPEG-1 System Stream. So, these programs can also read MPS file formats related to their data.
How to Edit MPS Files?
To edit an MPS file, using the Text programs is the best option. As was warned, other programs that can read the data stored in an MPS file may not represent it as was stored. Therefore, using such programs (like MS Word) to edit these types of files may result in losing the file altogether.
In addition, be cautious to not edit the column labels in an MPS file unless you are a professional. These labels follow a strict standard and are not chosen deliberately. The most common labels include:
- 'NAME' (indicates the name of the problem)
- 'ROWS' (names of all the constraints)
- 'COLUMNS' (A-matrix entries are represented in this section)
- 'RHS' (right-hand-side vectors are defined using this code)
- 'BOUNDS' (specifies the lower and upper limits on individual values)
- 'RANGES' (specifies double-inequalities).
You can use the following template if you want to edit or create an MPS file. The numbers shown on the top of the columns indicate the number of characters. Note that the following template is the most basic form of the information that can be stored using MPS format. There are several more specifications that can be included. For a more advanced study of these details, you can read "Advanced linear programming: Computation and practice" by Bruce A Murtagh which is available on Amazon:
How to Convert an MPS File?
Lack of usage has resulted in a lack of services that support MPS file format. To convert such files, the best option is to use the same program that is used for reading or editing the file. For example, if Notepad is used, you can also export the data as a .txt file. The same applies to using Apple TextEdit in Mac operating system or Linux programs named earlier.
For MPS files exported as an MPEG-1 System Stream, media player software can also be used. Likewise, if the file is exported using Map services like Garmin MapSource data or Microsoft Pocket Streets Map, using the same program is highly recommended.
As far as we can tell, there is no online tool that converts MPS files at the time of creating this article.
How to Recover a Deleted or Lost MPS File?
MPS files are not common nowadays and are rarely used. That's why they are extremely valuable, since using this format means other formats could not have been used. Therefore, losing them could be catastrophic.
In such cases when files are deleted, and you couldn't restore them, instead of using the common programs, you can take advantage of a dedicated software that greatly increases your chances of recovering and restoring data. You can purchase a professional program online to bring back your lost or corrupted information.
MPS File Recovery with Recoverit Data Recovery
Wondershare Recoverit is one of the most popular and top-rated data recovery programs. It is selected as the Leader of data recovery software by G2. Even if your computer has crashed, you can still recover your MPS file with this software. This User-friendly software is easy to use and quickly recovers your data in three simple steps: Select File Location > Scan > Preview & Recover.
Though it's highly improbable that you come across an MPS file since it's outdated, it may happen from time to time. In such cases, you can use the usual Text programs developed for your operating system to open or edit these data files.
However, if you managed to lose one, it's better to use professional software to recover them since not all programs discriminate these files from the other similar file formats. Wondershare Recoverit is your best option in such cases.
People Also Ask
What are the most common programs used for opening MPS files?
All the usual Text programs can open and read MPS files. Therefore, Windows users can use Microsoft Notepad, Mac users can use Apple TextEdit and Linux users can Gnumeric or Vim.
Can MS Word open and edit MPS files?
Yes, MS Word, as one of the most popular programs in the world, can also open MPS files too. But this option is not recommended since the data will not appear as it’s meant to.
Is there any online tool to convert MPS files?
As far as we can tell, there is no online tool that converts MPS files at the time of creating this article. Hence, to convert such files, the best option is to use the same program that is used for reading or editing the file.
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