Lower bounds for integer programming problems
MetadataShow full item record
Solving real world problems with mixed integer programming (MIP) involves efforts in modeling and efficient algorithms. To solve a minimization MIP problem, a lower bound is needed in a branch-and-bound algorithm to evaluate the quality of a feasible solution and to improve the efficiency of the algorithm. This thesis develops a new MIP model and studies algorithms for obtaining lower bounds for MIP. The first part of the thesis is dedicated to a new production planning model with pricing decisions. To increase profit, a company can use pricing to influence its demand to increase revenue, decrease cost, or both. We present a model that uses pricing discounts to increase production and delivery flexibility, which helps to decrease costs. Although the revenue can be hurt by introducing pricing discounts, the total profit can be increased by properly choosing the discounts and production and delivery decisions. We further explore the idea with variations of the model and present the advantages of using flexibility to increase profit. The second part of the thesis focuses on solving integer programming(IP) problems by improving lower bounds. Specifically, we consider obtaining lower bounds for the multi- dimensional knapsack problem (MKP). Because MKP lacks special structures, it allows us to consider general methods for obtaining lower bounds for IP, which includes various relaxation algorithms. A problem relaxation is achieved by either enlarging the feasible region, or decreasing the value of the objective function on the feasible region. In addition, dual algorithms can also be used to obtain lower bounds, which work directly on solving the dual problems. We first present some characteristics of the value function of MKP and extend some properties from the knapsack problem to MKP. The properties of MKP allow some large scale problems to be reduced to smaller ones. In addition, the quality of corner relaxation bounds of MKP is considered. We explore conditions under which the corner relaxation is tight for MKP, such that relaxing some of the constraints does not affect the quality of the lower bounds. To evaluate the overall tightness of the corner relaxation, we also show the worst-case gap of the corner relaxation for MKP. To identify parameters that contribute the most to the hardness of MKP and further evaluate the quality of lower bounds obtained from various algorithms, we analyze the characteristics that impact the hardness of MKP with a series of computational tests and establish a testbed of instances for computational experiments in the thesis. Next, we examine the lower bounds obtained from various relaxation algorithms com- putationally. We study methods of choosing constraints for relaxations that produce high- quality lower bounds. We use information obtained from linear relaxations to choose con- straints to relax. However, for many hard instances, choosing the right constraints can be challenging, due to the inaccuracy of the LP information. We thus develop a dual heuristic algorithm that explores various constraints to be used in relaxations in the Branch-and- Bound algorithm. The algorithm uses lower bounds obtained from surrogate relaxations to improve the LP bounds, where the relaxed constraints may vary for different nodes. We also examine adaptively controlling the parameters of the algorithm to improve the performance. Finally, the thesis presents two problem-specific algorithms to obtain lower bounds for MKP: A subadditive lifting method is developed to construct subadditive dual solutions, which always provide valid lower bounds. In addition, since MKP can be reformulated as a shortest path problem, we present a shortest path algorithm that uses estimated distances by solving relaxations problems. The recursive structure of the graph is used to accelerate the algorithm. Computational results of the shortest path algorithm are given on the testbed instances.