Primal Heuristics for Mixed Integer Programs

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-10293
  • A lot of problems arising in Combinatorial Optimization and Operations Research can be formulated as Mixed Integer Programs (MIP). Although MIP-solving is an NP-hard optimization problem, many practically relevant instances can be solved in reasonable time. In modern MIP-solvers like the branch-cut-and-price-framework SCIP, primal heuristics play a major role in finding and improving feasible solutions at the early steps of the solution process. This helps to reduce the overall computational effort, guides the remaining search process, and proves the feasibility of the MIP model. Furthermore, a heuristic solution with a small gap to optimality often is sufficient in practice. We investigate 16 different heuristics, all of which are available in SCIP. Four of them arise from the literature of the last decade, nine are specific implementations of general heuristic ideas, three have been newly developed. We present an improved version of the feasibility pump heuristic by Fischetti et al., which in experiments produced solutions with only a third of the optimality gap compared to the original version. Furthermore, we introduce two new Large Neighborhood Search (LNS) heuristics. Crossover is an LNS improvement heuristic making use of similarities of diverse MIP solutions to generate new incumbent solutions. RENS is an LNS rounding heuristic which evaluates the space of all possible roundings of a fractional LP-solution. This heuristic makes it possible to determine whether a point can be rounded to an integer solution and which is the best possible rounding. We conclude with a computational comparison of all described heuristics. It points out that a single heuristic on its own has only a slight impact on the overall performance of SCIP, but the combination of all of them reduces the running time by a factor of two compared to a version without any heuristics.
Metadaten
Author:Timo Berthold
Document Type:Master's Thesis
MSC-Classification:90-XX OPERATIONS RESEARCH, MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING / 90Cxx Mathematical programming [See also 49Mxx, 65Kxx] / 90C11 Mixed integer programming
90-XX OPERATIONS RESEARCH, MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING / 90Cxx Mathematical programming [See also 49Mxx, 65Kxx] / 90C27 Combinatorial optimization
90-XX OPERATIONS RESEARCH, MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING / 90Cxx Mathematical programming [See also 49Mxx, 65Kxx] / 90C59 Approximation methods and heuristics
Publishing Institution:Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)
Date of first Publication:2006/12/31

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