Definition: The term optimization refers to solving a given problem optimally, i.e., finding the best possible solution to a problem from a set of possible solutions. A solution thereby describes an alternative that solves the problem. What makes a solution being best depends on the context of the problem and must be specified before solving the problem. 
Optimization in the ADVENTURE context means optimizing the selection of partner factories based on predefined and specified requirements and preferences of the user, i.e., the broker of the virtual factory, including a model of the regarded process as well as a list of candidate factories (ADVENTURE Members) and appropriate attributes as e.g., capacity, price, size, weight, delivery time, Carbon Footprint, etc. 
The Optimization component offers a means to get an optimized proposition on which factories should be involved and assigned to which (abstract) process steps of a Smart Process. For different subsets of partners, different goal functions and constraints it provides a set of execution plans indicating which task of the Smart Process should be assigned to which factory. I.e. optimization solutions constitute execution plans and process configurations. It will be an independent service that proposes process variations strictly on a mathematical basis.  
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