# How to Use Excel Evolutionary Solver (With Easy Steps)

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use the Evolutionary solver in Excel to solve complex optimization problems. You can use this solver in numerous real-life cases where other Excel Solvers may not be applicable. Also, throughout this tutorial, you will learn some important topics like scatter charts, various functions, etc.

## How to Use Evolutionary Solver in Excel: Step-by-Step Procedures

We have taken a concise dataset to explain the steps of this tutorial. This dataset has 6 rows and approximately 11 columns. Here we want to distribute the depots in a way so that the Total Distance becomes minimum.

### Step 1: Creating Data Tables

In this first step, we will insert the data in a table format which the Excel Evolutionary solver will need to perform calculations.

• First, insert the data of columns Store ID, X-Coord, Y-Coord, and Depot Assigned manually from the keyboard.
• Then, click on cell F5 and enter the following formula:
`=SQRT((C5-OFFSET(\$I\$4,E5,0))^2+(D5-OFFSET(\$J\$4,E5,0))^2)`
• Next, copy this formula to all the cells below using Fill Handle which will give the Depot Distances for all the stores.

• Now, insert the data in the other tables as shown in the image below.

### Step 2: Generating Scatter Plot

To get a visual idea of the locations of the stores, we will plot them on an Excel scatter chart. Follow the steps below to do this.

• To begin this step, select the cells from C5 to D10.
• Now, navigate to the Insert tab and select Scatter Chart.

• As a result, this will generate a 2D Scatter Plot showing the relative position of the stores.

Read More: Where Is Solver in Excel

### Step 3: Setting Up Solver

We need to set up the solver to perform the calculations properly. Here, we will set the objective cell, the changing cells, and all the other constraints.

• For this, go to the Data tab and click on Solver.

• Immediately, the Solver Parameters window will now open.
• Next, insert the Set Objective, To, and By Changing Variable Cells fields as in the image below.

• Then, once you have entered all the constraints, click OK.

Read More: How to Use Solver in ExcelÂ

### Step 4: Finding Solution

Once we have set up all the parameters, now we are ready to perform the calculations. We will choose the Evolutionary method to solve this problem.

• Now, you can see that we have entered all the necessary 7 constraints as below.
• Then, set Evolutionary as the Solving Method and click Solve.

• Consequently, this will give you the required solution and show the window below.

• So, as you can see, the solver calculated the Total Distance and coordinates of the Depots.

• Similarly, the solver should calculate the data of the first table as well.

## Comparing Evolutionary and GRG Nonlinear Solvers in Excel

The GRG Nonlinear solver in Excel works by trying to find a point at which the slope of the function is zero. This is to make sure that the function reaches either a maximum or a minimum value at that point. But if there are any non-smooth functions in the target cell like MAX, MIN, SUMIF, COUNTIF, etc, then for them we canâ€™t use the GRG Nonlinear solver.

On the other hand, the Evolutionary solver doesnâ€™t rely on finding slope. So it can not determine whether a given solution is optimal or not. It only knows that a new candidate solution is better than previous ones. So it stops calculation when a certain set criterion is achieved.

## Conclusion

I hope that you were able to apply the above steps to solve a problem using the Evolutionary solver in Excel. Although we have used a relatively simple problem for this tutorial, you can use these steps to solve more complex real-life problems as well. If you get stuck at any steps, I recommend going through the steps a few times to clear up any confusion.

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Zhiping Yan

I am from China and this photo was taken in a classical garden. There are many similar gardens in China, attracting a lot of visitors every year, especially in spring and summer. I was major in Biotechnology. But I took a job as a SAS programmer because I prefer programming. Besides SAS, I also learned Excel VBA in my spare time. It is fantastic to be able to manipulate data, files and even to interact with the internet... Read Full Bio

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