We propose and analyze an asynchronously parallel optimization algorithmfor finding multiple, high-quality minima of nonlinear optimization problems. Ourmultistart algorithm considers all previously evaluated points when determining where to start or continue a local optimization run. Theoretical results show that when there are finitely many minima, the algorithm almost surely starts a finite number of local optimization runs and identifies every minimum. The algorithm is applicable to general optimization settings, but our numerical results focus on the case when derivatives are unavailable. In numerical tests, a Python implementation of the algorithm is shown to yield good approximations of many minima (including a global minimum), and this ability is shown to scale well with additional resources. Our implementation’s time to solution is shown also to scale well even when the time to perform the function evaluation is highly variable. An implementation of the algorithm is available in the libEnsemble library at https://github.com/Libensemble/libensemble.

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We present effective linear programming based computational techniquesfor solving nonconvex quadratic programs with box constraints (BoxQP). We first observe that known cutting planes obtained from the Boolean Quadric Polytope (BQP) are computationally effective at reducing the optimality gap of BoxQP. We next show that the Chvátal–Gomory closure of the BQP is given by the odd-cycle inequalities even when the underlying graph is not complete. By using these cutting planes in a spatial branch-and-cut framework, together with a common integrality-based preprocessing technique and a particular convex quadratic relaxation, we develop a solver that can effectively solve a well-known family of test instances. Our linear programming based solver is competitive with SDP-based state of the art solvers on small instances and sparse instances. Most of our computational techniques have been implemented in the recent version of CPLEX and have led to significant performance improvements on nonconvex quadratic programs with linear constraints.

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Polyhedral relaxations have been incorporated in a variety of solvers for theglobal optimization of mixed-integer nonlinear programs. Currently, these relaxations constitute the dominant approach in global optimization practice. In this paper, we introduce a new relaxation paradigm for global optimization. The proposed framework combines polyhedral and convex nonlinear relaxations, along with fail-safe techniques, convexity identification at each node of the branch-and-bound tree, and learning strategies for automatically selecting and switching between polyhedral and nonlinear relaxations and among different local search algorithms in different parts of the search tree. We report computational experiments with the proposed methodology on widely-used test problem collections from the literature, including 369 problems from GlobalLib, 250 problems from MINLPLib, 980 problems from PrincetonLib, and 142 problems from IBMLib. Results show that incorporating the proposed techniques in the BARON software leads to significant reductions in execution time, and increases by 30% the number of problems that are solvable to global optimality within 500 s on a standard workstation.

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We consider the problem of generating inequalities that are valid for one-row relaxations of a simplex tableau, with the integrality constraints preserved for one or more non-basic variables. These relaxations are interesting because they can be used to generate cutting planes for general mixed-integer problems. We first consider the case of a single non-basic integer variable. This relaxation is related to a simple knapsack set with two integer variables and two continuous variables. We study its facial structure by rewriting it as a constrained two-row model, and prove that all its facets arise from a finite number of maximal (Z × Z + )-free splits and wedges. The resulting cuts generalize both MIR and 2-step MIR inequalities. Then, we describe an algorithm for enumerating all the maximal (Z × Z + )-free sets corresponding to facet-defining inequalities, and we provide an upper bound on the split rank of those inequalities. Finally, we run computational experiments to compare the strength of wedge cuts against MIR cuts. In our computations, we use the so-called trivial fill-in function to exploit the integrality of more non-basic variables. To that end, we present a practical algorithm for computing the coefficients of this lifting function.

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