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The central curve of a linear program is an algebraic curve specified by linear and quadratic constraints arising from complementary slackness. It is the union of the various central paths for minimizing or maximizing the cost function over any region in the associated hyperplane arrangement. We determine the degree, arithmetic genus and defining prime ideal of the central curve, thereby answering a question of Bayer and Lagarias. These invariants, along with the degree of the Gauss image ofdoi:10.1007/s10208-012-9127-7 fatcat:sxxuv325bfeyvaorjelucc4yhq