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While single-level Nash equilibrium problems are quite well understood nowadays, less is known about multi-leader multi-follower games. However, these have important applications, e.g., in the analysis of electricity and gas markets, where often a limited number of firms interacts on various subsequent markets. In this paper, we consider a special class of two-level multi-leader multi-follower games that can be applied, e.g., to model strategic booking decisions in the European entry-exit gas market. For this nontrivial class of games, we develop a solution algorithm that is able to compute the complete set of Nash equilibria instead of just individual solutions or a bigger set of stationary points. Additionally, we prove that for this class of games, the solution set is finite and provide examples for instances without any Nash equilibria in pure strategies. We apply the algorithm to a case study in which we compute strategic booking and nomination decisions in a model of the European entry-exit gas market system. Finally, we use our algorithm to provide a publicly available test library for the considered class of multi-leader multi-follower games. This library contains problem instances with different economic and mathematical properties so that other researchers in the field can test and benchmark newly developed methods for this challenging class of problems.

The European gas market is implemented as an entry-exit system, which aims to decouple transport and trading of gas. It has been modeled in the literature as a multilevel problem, which contains a nonlinear flow model of gas physics. Besides the multilevel structure and the nonlinear flow model, the computation of so-called technical capacities is another major challenge. These lead to nonlinear adjustable robust constraints that are computationally intractable in general. We provide techniques to equivalently reformulate these nonlinear adjustable constraints as finitely many convex constraints including integer variables in the case that the underlying network is tree-shaped. We further derive additional combinatorial constraints that significantly speed up the solution process. Using our results, we can recast the multilevel model as a single-level nonconvex mixed-integer nonlinear problem, which we then solve on a real-world network, namely the Greek gas network, to global optimality. Overall, this is the first time that the considered multilevel entry-exit system can be solved for a real-world sized network and a nonlinear flow model.

We consider equilibrium problems under uncertainty where firms
maximize their profits in a robust way when selling their output. Robust
optimization plays an increasingly important role when best guaranteed objective
values are to be determined, independently of the specific distributional
assumptions regarding uncertainty. In particular, solutions are to be determined
that are feasible regardless of how the uncertainty manifests itself within
some predefined uncertainty set. Our analysis adopts the robust optimization
perspective in the context of equilibrium problems. First, we consider a singlestage,
nonadjustable robust setting. We then go one step further and study the
more complex two-stage or adjustable case where a part of the variables can
adjust to the realization of the uncertainty. We compare equilibrium outcomes
with the corresponding centralized robust optimization problem where the
sum of all profits are maximized. As we find, the market equilibrium for
the perfectly competitive firms differs from the solution of the robust central
planner, which is in stark contrast to classical results regarding the efficiency of
market equilibria with perfectly competitive firms. For the different scenarios
considered, we furthermore are able to determine the resulting price of anarchy.
In the case of non-adjustable robustness, for fixed demand in every time step
the price of anarchy is bounded whereas it is unbounded if the buyers are
modeled by elastic demand functions. For the two-stage adjustable setting,
we show how to compute subsidies for the firms that lead to robust welfare
optimal equilibria.

Potential-based flows are an extension of classical network flows in which the flow on an arc is determined by the difference of the potentials of its incident nodes. Such flows are unique and arise, for example, in energy networks. Two important algorithmic problems are to determine whether there exists a feasible flow and to maximize the flow between two designated nodes. We show that these problems can be solved for the single source and sink case by reducing the network to a single arc. However, if we additionally consider switches that allow to force the flow to 0 and decouple the potentials, these problems are NP-hard. Nevertheless, for particular series-parallel networks, one can use algorithms for the subset sum problem. Moreover, applying network presolving based on generalized series-parallel structures allows to significantly reduce the size of realistic energy networks.

Solving Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Programs using Adaptively Refined Mixed-Integer Linear Programs
(2017)

We propose a method for solving mixed-integer nonlinear programs (MINLPs) to global optimality by discretization of occuring nonlinearities. The main idea is based on using piecewise linear functions to construct mixed-integer linear program (MIP) relaxations of the underlying MINLP. In order to find a global optimum of the given MINLP we develope an iterative algorithm which solves MIP relaxations that are adaptively refined. We are able to give convergence results for a wide range of MINLPs requiring only continuous nonlinearities with bounded domains and an oracle computing maxima of the nonlinearities on their domain. Moreover, the practicalness of our approach is shown numerically by an application from the field of gas network optimization.

We consider optimal control problems for the flow of gas or fresh water in pipe networks as well as drainage or sewer systems in open canals. The equations of motion are taken to be represented by the nonlinear isothermal Euler gas equations, the water hammer equations, or the St.~Venant equations for flow. We formulate model hierarchies and derive an abstract model for such network flow problems including pipes, junctions, and controllable elements such as valves, weirs, pumps, as well as compressors. We use the abstract model to give an overview of the known results and challenges concerning equilibria, well-posedness, controllability, and optimal control. A major challenge concerning the optimization is to deal with switching on-off states that are inherent to controllable devices in such applications combined with
continuous simulation and optimization of the gas flow. We formulate the corresponding mixed-integer nonlinear optimal control problems and outline a decomposition approach as a solution technique.

Nonconvex mixed-binary nonlinear optimization problems frequently appear in practice and are typically extremely hard to solve. In this paper we discuss a class of primal heuristics that are based on a reformulation of the problem as a mathematical program with equilibrium constraints. We then use different regularization schemes for this class of problems and use an iterative solution procedure for solving series of regularized problems. In the case of success, these procedures result in a feasible solution of the original mixed-binary nonlinear problem. Since we rely on local nonlinear programming solvers the resulting method is fast and we further improve its reliability by additional algorithmic techniques. We show the strength of our method by an extensive computational study on 662 MINLPLib2 instances, where our methods are able to produce feasible solutions for 60% of all instances in at most 10s.

The development of mathematical simulation and optimization models and algorithms for solving gas transport problems is an active field of research. In order to test and compare these models and algorithms, gas network instances together with demand data are needed. The goal of GasLib is to provide a set of publicly available gas network instances that can be used by researchers in the field of gas transport. The advantages are that researchers save time by using these instances and that different models and algorithms can be compared on the same specified test sets. The library instances are encoded in an XML format. In this paper, we explain this format and present the instances that are available in the library.

We consider uniqueness and multiplicity of market equilibria in a short-run setup where traded quantities of electricity are transported through a capacitated network in which power flows have to satisfy the classical lossless DC approximation. The firms face fluctuating demand and decide on their production, which is constrained by given capacities. Today, uniqueness of such market outcomes are especially important in more complicated multilevel models for measuring market (in)efficiency. Thus, our findings are important prerequisites for such studies. We show that market equilibria are unique on tree networks under mild assumptions and we also present a priori conditions under which equilibria are unique on cycle networks. On general networks, uniqueness fails to hold and we present simple examples for which multiple equilibria exist. However, we prove a posteriori criteria for the uniqueness of a given solution and characterize situations in which multiple solutions exist.