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  • 2015-2019  (17)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-08-05
    Description: Modern MIP solving software incorporates dozens of auxiliary algorithmic components for supporting the branch-and-bound search in finding and improving solutions and in strengthening the relaxation. Intuitively, a dynamic solving strategy with an appropriate emphasis on different solving components and strategies is desirable during the search process. We propose an adaptive solver behavior that dynamically reacts on transitions between the three typical phases of a MIP solving process: The first phase objective is to find a feasible solution. During the second phase, a sequence of incumbent solutions gets constructed until the incumbent is eventually optimal. Proving optimality is the central objective of the remaining third phase. Based on the MIP-solver SCIP, we demonstrate the usefulness of the phase concept both with an exact recognition of the optimality of a solution, and provide heuristic alternatives to make use of the concept in practice.
    Language: English
    Type: conferenceobject , doc-type:conferenceObject
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2021-01-22
    Description: The SCIP Optimization Suite is a software toolbox for generating and solving various classes of mathematical optimization problems. Its major components are the modeling language ZIMPL, the linear programming solver SoPlex, the constraint integer programming framework and mixed-integer linear and nonlinear programming solver SCIP, the UG framework for parallelization of branch-and-bound-based solvers, and the generic branch-cut-and-price solver GCG. It has been used in many applications from both academia and industry and is one of the leading non-commercial solvers. This paper highlights the new features of version 3.2 of the SCIP Optimization Suite. Version 3.2 was released in July 2015. This release comes with new presolving steps, primal heuristics, and branching rules within SCIP. In addition, version 3.2 includes a reoptimization feature and improved handling of quadratic constraints and special ordered sets. SoPlex can now solve LPs exactly over the rational number and performance improvements have been achieved by exploiting sparsity in more situations. UG has been tested successfully on 80,000 cores. A major new feature of UG is the functionality to parallelize a customized SCIP solver. GCG has been enhanced with a new separator, new primal heuristics, and improved column management. Finally, new and improved extensions of SCIP are presented, namely solvers for multi-criteria optimization, Steiner tree problems, and mixed-integer semidefinite programs.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2020-08-05
    Description: Mixed integer programming is a versatile and valuable optimization tool. However, solving specific problem instances can be computationally demanding even for cutting-edge solvers. Such long running times are often significantly reduced by an appropriate change of the solver's parameters. In this paper we investigate "algorithm selection", the task of choosing among a set of algorithms the ones that are likely to perform best for a particular instance. In our case, we treat different parameter settings of the MIP solver SCIP as different algorithms to choose from. Two peculiarities of the MIP solving process have our special attention. We address the well-known problem of performance variability by using multiple random seeds. Besides solving time, primal dual integrals are recorded as a second performance measure in order to distinguish solvers that timed out. We collected feature and performance data for a large set of publicly available MIP instances. The algorithm selection problem is addressed by several popular, feature-based methods, which have been partly extended for our purpose. Finally, an analysis of the feature space and performance results of the selected algorithms are presented.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2022-03-14
    Description: Modern MIP solvers employ dozens of auxiliary algorithmic components to support the branch-and-bound search in finding and improving primal solutions and in strengthening the dual bound. Typically, all components are tuned to minimize the average running time to prove optimality. In this article, we take a different look at the run of a MIP solver. We argue that the solution process consists of three different phases, namely achieving feasibility, improving the incumbent solution, and proving optimality. We first show that the entire solving process can be improved by adapting the search strategy with respect to the phase-specific aims using different control tunings. Afterwards, we provide criteria to predict the transition between the individual phases and evaluate the performance impact of altering the algorithmic behavior of the MIP solver SCIP at the predicted phase transition points.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2021-01-22
    Description: The SCIP Optimization Suite is a powerful collection of optimization software that consists of the branch-cut-and-price framework and mixed-integer programming solver SCIP, the linear programming solver SoPlex, the modeling language Zimpl, the parallelization framework UG, and the generic branch-cut-and-price solver GCG. Additionally, it features the extensions SCIP-Jack for solving Steiner tree problems, PolySCIP for solving multi-objective problems, and SCIP-SDP for solving mixed-integer semidefinite programs. The SCIP Optimization Suite has been continuously developed and has now reached version 4.0. The goal of this report is to present the recent changes to the collection. We not only describe the theoretical basis, but focus on implementation aspects and their computational consequences.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2020-08-05
    Description: Modern MIP solving software incorporates dozens of auxiliary algorithmic components for supporting the branch-and-bound search in finding and improving solutions and in strengthening the relaxation. Intuitively, a dynamic solving strategy with an appropriate emphasis on different solving components and strategies is desirable during the search process. We propose an adaptive solver behavior that dynamically reacts on transitions between the three typical phases of a MIP solving process: The first phase objective is to find a feasible solution. During the second phase, a sequence of incumbent solutions gets constructed until the incumbent is eventually optimal. Proving optimality is the central objective of the remaining third phase. Based on the MIP-solver SCIP, we demonstrate the usefulness of the phase concept both with an exact recognition of the optimality of a solution, and provide heuristic alternatives to make use of the concept in practice.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
    Library Location Call Number Volume/Issue/Year Availability
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2020-08-05
    Description: State-of-the-art solvers for mixed integer programs (MIP) govern a variety of algorithmic components. Ideally, the solver adaptively learns to concentrate its computational budget on those components that perform well on a particular problem, especially if they are time consuming. We focus on three such algorithms, namely the classes of large neighborhood search and diving heuristics as well as Simplex pricing strategies. For each class we propose a selection strategy that is updated based on the observed runtime behavior, aiming to ultimately select only the best algorithms for a given instance. We review several common strategies for such a selection scenario under uncertainty, also known as Multi Armed Bandit Problem. In order to apply those bandit strategies, we carefully design reward functions to rank and compare each individual heuristic or pricing algorithm within its respective class. Finally, we discuss the computational benefits of using the proposed adaptive selection within the SCIP Optimization Suite on publicly available MIP instances.
    Language: English
    Type: conferenceobject , doc-type:conferenceObject
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-08-05
    Description: Large Neighborhood Search (LNS) heuristics are among the most powerful but also most expensive heuristics for mixed integer programs (MIP). Ideally, a solver learns adaptively which LNS heuristics work best for the MIP problem at hand in order to concentrate its limited computational budget. To this end, this work introduces Adaptive Large Neighborhood Search (ALNS) for MIP, a primal heuristic that acts a framework for eight popular LNS heuristics such as Local Branching and Relaxation Induced Neighborhood Search (RINS). We distinguish the available LNS heuristics by their individual search domains, which we call neighborhoods. The decision which neighborhood should be executed is guided by selection strategies for the multi armed bandit problem, a related optimization problem during which suitable actions have to be chosen to maximize a reward function. In this paper, we propose an LNS-specific reward function to learn to distinguish between the available neighborhoods based on successful calls and failures. A second, algorithmic enhancement is a generic variable fixing priorization, which ALNS employs to adjust the subproblem complexity as needed. This is particularly useful for some neighborhoods which do not fix variables by themselves. The proposed primal heuristic has been implemented within the MIP solver SCIP. An extensive computational study is conducted to compare different LNS strategies within our ALNS framework on a large set of publicly available MIP instances from the MIPLIB and Coral benchmark sets. The results of this simulation are used to calibrate the parameters of the bandit selection strategies. A second computational experiment shows the computational benefits of the proposed ALNS framework within the MIP solver SCIP.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
    Library Location Call Number Volume/Issue/Year Availability
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2022-03-14
    Description: Modern mixed-integer programming (MIP) solvers employ dozens of auxiliary algorithmic components to support the branch-and-bound search in finding and improving primal solutions and in strengthening the dual bound. Typically, all components are tuned to minimize the average running time to prove optimality. In this article, we take a different look at the run of a MIP solver. We argue that the solution process consists of three distinct phases, namely achieving feasibility, improving the incumbent solution, and proving optimality. We first show that the entire solving process can be improved by adapting the search strategy with respect to the phase-specific aims using different control tunings. Afterwards, we provide criteria to predict the transition between the individual phases and evaluate the performance impact of altering the algorithmic behaviour of the non-commercial MIP solver Scip at the predicted phase transition points.
    Language: English
    Type: article , doc-type:article
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2020-12-15
    Description: This article describes new features and enhanced algorithms made available in version 5.0 of the SCIP Optimization Suite. In its central component, the constraint integer programming solver SCIP, remarkable performance improvements have been achieved for solving mixed-integer linear and nonlinear programs. On MIPs, SCIP 5.0 is about 41 % faster than SCIP 4.0 and over twice as fast on instances that take at least 100 seconds to solve. For MINLP, SCIP 5.0 is about 17 % faster overall and 23 % faster on instances that take at least 100 seconds to solve. This boost is due to algorithmic advances in several parts of the solver such as cutting plane generation and management, a new adaptive coordination of large neighborhood search heuristics, symmetry handling, and strengthened McCormick relaxations for bilinear terms in MINLPs. Besides discussing the theoretical background and the implementational aspects of these developments, the report describes recent additions for the other software packages connected to SCIP, in particular for the LP solver SoPlex, the Steiner tree solver SCIP-Jack, the MISDP solver SCIP-SDP, and the parallelization framework UG.
    Language: English
    Type: reportzib , doc-type:preprint
    Format: application/pdf
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