The global marketplace for materials and services requires providers to continually seek improvements in efficiency to maintain their competitive position. Advanced control systems, such as expert systems, adaptive control and adaptive control with learning capabilities, yield substantial increases in processing efficiency when properly implemented. Implementation of advanced control systems, using an object-oriented collection of intelligent software objects (ISO) in parallel, permits intelligent control systems to perform constrained optimization of collections of unit operations, plants, and even the entire enterprise. Stochastic or phenomenological models of the unit operations and the enterprise economics are not necessary when intelligent systems utilize adaptive and learning capabilities. Advanced expert systems, knowledge bases and neural networks can be simultaneously employed as distributed, intelligent-software objects, across computing resources, to perform enterprise-wide optimization in real time.