skip to main content

Title: Robust Quadratic Programming with Mixed-Integer Uncertainty
We study robust convex quadratic programs where the uncertain problem parameters can contain both continuous and integer components. Under the natural boundedness assumption on the uncertainty set, we show that the generic problems are amenable to exact copositive programming reformulations of polynomial size. These convex optimization problems are NP-hard but admit a conservative semidefinite programming (SDP) approximation that can be solved efficiently. We prove that the popular approximate S-lemma method—which is valid only in the case of continuous uncertainty—is weaker than our approximation. We also show that all results can be extended to the two-stage robust quadratic optimization setting if the problem has complete recourse. We assess the effectiveness of our proposed SDP reformulations and demonstrate their superiority over the state-of-the-art solution schemes on instances of least squares, project management, and multi-item newsvendor problems.
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
INFORMS Journal on Computing
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. We investigate the approximability of the following optimization problem. The input is an n× n matrix A=(Aij) with real entries and an origin-symmetric convex body K⊂ ℝn that is given by a membership oracle. The task is to compute (or approximate) the maximum of the quadratic form ∑i=1n∑j=1n Aij xixj=⟨ x,Ax⟩ as x ranges over K. This is a rich and expressive family of optimization problems; for different choices of matrices A and convex bodies K it includes a diverse range of optimization problems like max-cut, Grothendieck/non-commutative Grothendieck inequalities, small set expansion and more. While the literature studied these specialmore »cases using case-specific reasoning, here we develop a general methodology for treatment of the approximability and inapproximability aspects of these questions. The underlying geometry of K plays a critical role; we show under commonly used complexity assumptions that polytime constant-approximability necessitates that K has type-2 constant that grows slowly with n. However, we show that even when the type-2 constant is bounded, this problem sometimes exhibits strong hardness of approximation. Thus, even within the realm of type-2 bodies, the approximability landscape is nuanced and subtle. However, the link that we establish between optimization and geometry of Banach spaces allows us to devise a generic algorithmic approach to the above problem. We associate to each convex body a new (higher dimensional) auxiliary set that is not convex, but is approximately convex when K has a bounded type-2 constant. If our auxiliary set has an approximate separation oracle, then we design an approximation algorithm for the original quadratic optimization problem, using an approximate version of the ellipsoid method. Even though our hardness result implies that such an oracle does not exist in general, this new question can be solved in specific cases of interest by implementing a range of classical tools from functional analysis, most notably the deep factorization theory of linear operators. Beyond encompassing the scenarios in the literature for which constant-factor approximation algorithms were found, our generic framework implies that that for convex sets with bounded type-2 constant, constant factor approximability is preserved under the following basic operations: (a) Subspaces, (b) Quotients, (c) Minkowski Sums, (d) Complex Interpolation. This yields a rich family of new examples where constant factor approximations are possible, which were beyond the reach of previous methods. We also show (under commonly used complexity assumptions) that for symmetric norms and unitarily invariant matrix norms the type-2 constant nearly characterizes the approximability of quadratic maximization.« less
  2. Motion planning for high degree-of-freedom (DOF) robots is challenging, especially when acting in complex environments under sensing uncertainty. While there is significant work on how to plan under state uncertainty for low-DOF robots, existing methods cannot be easily translated into the high-DOF case, due to the complex geometry of the robot’s body and its environment. In this paper, we present a method that enhances optimization-based motion planners to produce robust trajectories for high-DOF robots for convex obstacles. Our approach introduces robustness into planners that are based on sequential convex programming: We reformulate each convex subproblem as a robust optimization problemmore »that “protects” the solution against deviations due to sensing uncertainty. The parameters of the robust problem are estimated by sampling from the distribution of noisy obstacles, and performing a first-order approximation of the signed distance function. The original merit function is updated to account for the new costs of the robust formulation at every step. The effectiveness of our approach is demonstrated on two simulated experiments that involve a full body square robot, that moves in randomly generated scenes, and a 7-DOF Fetch robot, performing tabletop operations. The results show nearly zero probability of collision for a reasonable range of the noise parameters for Gaussian and Uniform uncertainty.« less
  3. In a chance constrained program (CCP), decision makers seek the best decision whose probability of violating the uncertainty constraints is within the prespecified risk level. As a CCP is often nonconvex and is difficult to solve to optimality, much effort has been devoted to developing convex inner approximations for a CCP, among which the conditional value-at-risk (CVaR) has been known to be the best for more than a decade. This paper studies and generalizes the ALSO-X, originally proposed by Ahmed, Luedtke, SOng, and Xie in 2017 , for solving a CCP. We first show that the ALSO-X resembles a bilevelmore »optimization, where the upper-level problem is to find the best objective function value and enforce the feasibility of a CCP for a given decision from the lower-level problem, and the lower-level problem is to minimize the expectation of constraint violations subject to the upper bound of the objective function value provided by the upper-level problem. This interpretation motivates us to prove that when uncertain constraints are convex in the decision variables, ALSO-X always outperforms the CVaR approximation. We further show (i) sufficient conditions under which ALSO-X can recover an optimal solution to a CCP; (ii) an equivalent bilinear programming formulation of a CCP, inspiring us to enhance ALSO-X with a convergent alternating minimization method (ALSO-X+); and (iii) an extension of ALSO-X and ALSO-X+ to distributionally robust chance constrained programs (DRCCPs) under the ∞−Wasserstein ambiguity set. Our numerical study demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed methods.« less
  4. The traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a fundamental problem in combinatorial optimization. Several semidefinite programming relaxations have been proposed recently that exploit a variety of mathematical structures including, for example, algebraic connectivity, permutation matrices, and association schemes. The main results of this paper are twofold. First, de Klerk and Sotirov [de Klerk E, Sotirov R (2012) Improved semidefinite programming bounds for quadratic assignment problems with suitable symmetry. Math. Programming 133(1):75–91.] present a semidefinite program (SDP) based on permutation matrices and symmetry reduction; they show that it is incomparable to the subtour elimination linear program but generally dominates it on smallmore »instances. We provide a family of simplicial TSP instances that shows that the integrality gap of this SDP is unbounded. Second, we show that these simplicial TSP instances imply the unbounded integrality gap of every SDP relaxation of the TSP mentioned in the survey on SDP relaxations of the TSP in section 2 of Sotirov [Sotirov R (2012) SDP relaxations for some combinatorial optimization problems. Anjos MF, Lasserre JB, eds., Handbook on Semidefinite, Conic and Polynomial Optimization (Springer, New York), 795–819.]. In contrast, the subtour linear program performs perfectly on simplicial instances. The simplicial instances thus form a natural litmus test for future SDP relaxations of the TSP.« less
  5. We describe strong convex valid inequalities for conic quadratic mixed 0–1 optimization. These inequalities can be utilized for solving numerous practical nonlinear discrete optimization problems from value-at-risk minimization to queueing system design, from robust interdiction to assortment optimization through appropriate conic quadratic mixed 0–1 relaxations. The inequalities exploit the submodularity of the binary restrictions and are based on the polymatroid inequalities over binaries for the diagonal case. We prove that the convex inequalities completely describe the convex hull of a single conic quadratic constraint as well as the rotated cone constraint over binary variables and unbounded continuous variables. We thenmore »generalize and strengthen the inequalities by incorporating additional constraints of the optimization problem. Computational experiments on mean-risk optimization with correlations, assortment optimization, and robust conic quadratic optimization indicate that the new inequalities strengthen the convex relaxations substantially and lead to significant performance improvements.« less