On Linear Programming, Integer Programming and Cutting Planes
Espinoza, Daniel G.
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In this thesis we address three related topic in the field of Operations Research. Firstly we discuss the problems and limitation of most common solvers for linear programming, precision. We then present a solver that generate rational optimal solutions to linear programming problems by solving a succession of (increasingly more precise) floating point approximations of the original rational problem until the rational optimality conditions are achieved. This method is shown to be (on average) only 20% slower than the common pure floating point approach, while returning true optimal solutions to the problems. Secondly we present an extension of the Local Cut procedure introduced by Applegate et al, 2001, for the Symmetric Traveling Salesman Problem (STSP), to the general setting of MIP problems. This extension also proves finiteness of the separation, facet and tilting procedures in the general MIP setting, and also provides conditions under which the separation procedure is guaranteed to generate cuts that separate the current fractional solution from the convex hull of the mixed-integer polyhedron. We then move on to explore some configurations for local cuts, realizing extensive testing on the instances from MIPLIB. Those results show that this technique may be useful in general MIP problems, while the experience of Applegate et al, shows that the ideas can be successfully applied to structures problems as well. Thirdly we present an extensive computational experiment on the TSP and Domino Parity inequalities as introduced by Letchford, 2000. This work also include a safe-shrinking theorem for domino parity inequalities, heuristics to apply the planar separation algorithm introduced by Letchford to instances where the planarity requirement does not hold, and several practical speed-ups. Our computational experience showed that this class of inequalities effectively improve the lower bounds from the best relaxations obtained with Concorde, which is one of the state of the art solvers for the STSP. As part of these experience, we solved to optimality the (up to now) largest two STSP instances, both of them belong to the TSPLIB set of instances and they have 18,520 and 33,810 cities respectively.