Mathematical Programming Computation, Volume 3, Number 4, December 2011

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A factorization with update procedures for a KKT matrix arising in direct optimal control

Christian Kirches, Hans Georg Bock, Johannes P. Schlöder, Sebastian Sager


Quadratic programs obtained for optimal control problems of  dynamic or discrete-time processes usually involve highly block structured Hessian and constraints matrices, to be exploited by efficient numerical methods. In interior point methods, this is elegantly achieved by the widespread availability of advanced sparse symmetric indefinite factorization codes. For active set methods, however, conventional dense matrix techniques suffer from the need to update base matrices in every active set iteration, thereby loosing the sparsity structure after a few updates. This contribution presents a new factorization of a KKT matrix arising in active set methods for optimal control. It fully respects the block structure without any fill-in. For this factorization, matrix updates are derived for all cases of active set changes. This allows for the design of a highly efficient block structured active set method for optimal control and model predictive control problems with long horizons or many control parameters.

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