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In the recent years, a couple of quite successful large neighborhood search heuristics for mixed integer programs has been published. Up to our knowledge, all of them are improvement heuristics. We present a new start heuristic for general MIPs working in the spirit of large neighborhood search. It constructs a sub-MIP which represents the space of all feasible roundings of some fractional point - normally the optimum of the LP-relaxation of the original MIP. Thereby, one is able to determine whether a point can be rounded to a feasible solution and which is the best possible rounding. Furthermore, a slightly modified version of RENS proves to be a well-performing heuristic inside the branch-cut-and-price-framework SCIP.

The Feasibility Pump of Fischetti, Glover, Lodi, and Bertacco has proved to be a very successful heuristic for finding feasible solutions of mixed integer programs. The quality of the solutions in terms of the objective value, however, tends to be poor. This paper proposes a slight modification of the algorithm in order to find better solutions. Extensive computational results show the success of this variant: in 89 out of 121 MIP instances the modified version produces improved solutions in comparison to the original Feasibility Pump.

This article introduces constraint integer programming (CIP), which is a novel way to combine constraint programming (CP) and mixed integer programming (MIP) methodologies. CIP is a generalization of MIP that supports the notion of general constraints as in CP. This approach is supported by the CIP framework SCIP, which also integrates techniques from SAT solving. SCIP is available in source code and free for non-commercial use. We demonstrate the usefulness of CIP on two tasks. First, we apply the constraint integer programming approach to pure mixed integer programs. Computational experiments show that SCIP is almost competitive to current state-of-the-art commercial MIP solvers. Second, we employ the CIP framework to solve chip design verification problems, which involve some highly non-linear constraint types that are very hard to handle by pure MIP solvers. The CIP approach is very effective here: it can apply the full sophisticated MIP machinery to the linear part of the problem, while dealing with the non-linear constraints by employing constraint programming techniques.

We propose a hybrid approach for solving the resource-constrained project scheduling problem which is an extremely hard to solve combinatorial optimization problem of practical relevance. Jobs have to be scheduled on (renewable) resources subject to precedence constraints such that the resource capacities are never exceeded and the latest completion time of all jobs is minimized. The problem has challenged researchers from different communities, such as integer programming (IP), constraint programming (CP), and satisfiability testing (SAT). Still, there are instances with 60 jobs which have not been solved for many years. The currently best known approach, lazyFD, is a hybrid between CP and SAT techniques. In this paper we propose an even stronger hybridization by integrating all the three areas, IP, CP, and SAT, into a single branch-and-bound scheme. We show that lower bounds from the linear relaxation of the IP formulation and conflict analysis are key ingredients for pruning the search tree. First computational experiments show very promising results. For five instances of the well-known PSPLIB we report an improvement of lower bounds. Our implementation is generic, thus it can be potentially applied to similar problems as well.

Primal heuristics are an important component of state-of-the-art codes for
mixed integer programming. In this paper, we focus on primal heuristics
that only employ computationally inexpensive procedures such as rounding
and logical deductions (propagation). We give an overview of eight
different approaches. To assess the impact of these primal heuristics on
the ability to find feasible solutions, in particular early during search,
we introduce a new performance measure, the primal integral. Computational
experiments evaluate this and other measures on MIPLIB~2010 benchmark
instances.

Large neighborhood search (LNS) heuristics are an important component of modern branch-and-cut algorithms for solving mixed-integer linear programs (MIPs). Most of these LNS heuristics use the LP relaxation as the basis for their search, which is a reasonable choice in case of MIPs. However, for more general problem classes, the LP relaxation alone may not contain enough information about the original problem to find feasible solutions with these heuristics, e.g., if the problem is nonlinear or not all constraints are present in the current relaxation.
In this paper, we discuss a generic way to extend LNS heuristics that have been developed for MIP to constraint integer programming (CIP), which is a generalization of MIP in the direction of constraint programming (CP). We present computational results of LNS heuristics for three problem classes: mixed-integer quadratically constrained programs, nonlinear pseudo-Boolean optimization instances, and resource-constrained project scheduling problems. Therefore, we have implemented extended versions of the following LNS heuristics in the constraint integer programming framework SCIP: Local Branching, RINS, RENS, Crossover, and DINS. Our results indicate that a generic generalization of LNS heuristics to CIP considerably improves the success rate of these heuristics.

Mixed integer programming (MIP) has become one of the most important techniques in Operations Research and Discrete Optimization. SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs) is currently one of the fastest non-commercial MIP solvers. It is based on the branch-and-bound procedure in which the problem is recursively split into smaller subproblems, thereby creating a so-called branching tree. We present ParaSCIP, an extension of SCIP, which realizes a parallelization on a distributed memory computing environment. ParaSCIP uses SCIP solvers as independently running processes to solve subproblems (nodes of the branching tree) locally. This makes the parallelization development independent of the SCIP development. Thus, ParaSCIP directly profits from any algorithmic progress in future versions of SCIP. Using a first implementation of ParaSCIP, we were able to solve two previously unsolved instances from MIPLIB2003, a standard test set library for MIP solvers. For these computations, we used up to 2048 cores of the HLRN~II supercomputer.

We provide a computational study of the performance of a state-of-the-art solver for nonconvex mixed-integer quadratically constrained programs (MIQCPs). Since successful general-purpose solvers for large problem classes necessarily comprise a variety of algorithmic techniques, we focus especially on the impact of the individual solver components. The solver SCIP used for the experiments implements a branch-and-cut algorithm based on linear outer approximation to solve MIQCPs to global optimality. Our analysis is based on a set of 86 publicly available test instances.

Energetic reasoning is one of the most powerful propagation algorithms in cumulative scheduling. In practice, however, it is not commonly used because it has a high running time and its success highly depends on the tightness of the variable bounds. In order to speed up energetic reasoning, we provide an easy-to-check necessary condition for energetic reasoning to detect infeasibilities.
We present an implementation of energetic reasoning that employs this condition and that can be parametrically adjusted to handle the trade-off between solving time and propagation overhead. Computational results on instances from the PSPLIB are provided. These results show that using this condition decreases the running time by more than a half, although more search nodes need to be explored.

We present Undercover, a primal heuristic for nonconvex mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) that explores a mixed-integer linear subproblem (sub-MIP) of a given MINLP. We solve a vertex covering problem to identify a minimal set of variables that need to be fixed in order to linearize each constraint, a so-called cover. Subsequently, these variables are fixed to values obtained from a reference point, e.g., an optimal solution of a linear relaxation. We apply domain propagation and conflict analysis to try to avoid infeasibilities and learn from them, respectively. Each feasible solution of the sub-MIP corresponds to a feasible solution of the original problem.
We present computational results on a test set of mixed-integer quadratically constrained programs (MIQCPs) and general MINLPs from MINLPLib. It turns out that the majority of these instances allow for small covers. Although general in nature, the heuristic appears most promising for MIQCPs, and complements nicely with existing root node heuristics in different state-of-the-art solvers.