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The steel mill slab design problem from the CSPLIB is a combinatorial
optimization problem motivated by an application of the steel industry. It
has been widely studied in the constraint programming community. Several
methods were proposed to solve this problem. A steel mill slab library was
created which contains 380 instances. A closely related binpacking problem
called the multiple knapsack problem with color constraints, originated
from the same industrial problem, was discussed in the integer programming
community. In particular, a simple integer program for this problem has
been given by Forrest et al. The aim of this paper is to bring these
different studies together. Moreover, we adapt the model of Forrest et
al. for the steel mill slab design problem. Using this model and a
state-of-the-art integer program solver all instances of the steel mill
slab library can be solved efficiently to optimality. We improved,
thereby, the solution values of 76 instances compared to previous results.
Finally, we consider a recently introduced variant of the steel mill slab
design problem, where within all solutions which minimize the leftover one
is interested in a solution which requires a minimum number of slabs. For
that variant we introduce two approaches and solve all instances of the
steel mill slab library with this slightly changed objective function to
optimality.

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.

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.

In cumulative scheduling, conflict analysis seems to be one of the key ingredients to solve such problems efficiently. Thereby, the computational complexity of explanation algorithms plays an important role. Even more when we are faced with a backtracking system where explanations need to be constructed on the fly.
In this paper we present extensive computational results to analyze the impact of explanation algorithms for the cumulative constraint in a backward checking system. The considered explanation algorithms differ in their quality and computational complexity. We present results for the domain propagation algorithms time-tabling, edge-finding, and energetic reasoning.

This paper discusses how to build a solver for mixed integer quadratically constrained programs (MIQCPs) by extending a framework for constraint integer programming (CIP). The advantage of this approach is that we can utilize the full power of advanced MIP and CP technologies. In particular, this addresses the linear relaxation and the discrete components of the problem. For relaxation, we use an outer approximation generated by linearization of convex constraints and linear underestimation of nonconvex constraints. Further, we give an overview of the reformulation, separation, and propagation techniques that are used to handle the quadratic constraints efficiently. We implemented these methods in the branch-cut-and-price framework SCIP. Computational experiments indicates the potential of the approach.

Testing is the process of stimulating a system with inputs in order to reveal hidden parts of the system state. In the case of non-deterministic systems, the difficulty arises that an input pattern can generate several possible outcomes. Some of these outcomes allow to distinguish between different hypotheses about the system state, while others do~not. In this paper, we present a novel approach to find, for non-deterministic systems modeled as constraints over variables, tests that allow to distinguish among the hypotheses as good as possible. The idea is to assess the quality of a test by determining the ratio of distinguishing (good) and not distinguishing (bad) outcomes. This measure refines previous notions proposed in the literature on model-based testing and can be computed using model counting techniques. We propose and analyze a greedy-type algorithm to solve this test optimization problem, using existing model counters as a building block. We give preliminary experimental results of our method, and discuss possible improvements.

Pseudo-Boolean problems lie on the border between satisfiability problems, constraint programming, and integer programming. In particular, nonlinear constraints in pseudo-Boolean optimization can be handled by methods arising in these different fields: One can either linearize them and work on a linear programming relaxation or one can treat them directly by propagation. In this paper, we investigate the individual strengths of these approaches and compare their computational performance. Furthermore, we integrate these techniques into a branch-and-cut-and-propagate framework, resulting in an efficient nonlinear pseudo-Boolean solver.

The steel mill slab design problem from the CSPLib is a binpacking problem that is motivated by an application of the steel industry and that has been widely studied in the constraint programming community. Recently, several people proposed new models and methods to solve this problem. A steel mill slab library was created which contains 380 instances. A closely related binpacking problem called multiple knapsack problem with color constraints, originated from the same industrial problem, were discussed in the integer programming community. In particular, a simple integer programming for this problem has been given by Forrest et al. [3]. The aim of this paper is to bring these different studies together. Moreover, we adopt the model of [3] for the steel mill slab problem. Using a state of the art integer program solver, this model is capable to solve all instances of the steel mill slab library, mostly in less than one second, to optimality. We improved, thereby, the solution value of 76 instances.

Pseudo-Boolean problems generalize SAT problems by allowing linear constraints and a linear objective function. Different solvers, mainly having their roots in the SAT domain, have been proposed and compared,for instance, in Pseudo-Boolean evaluations. One can also formulate Pseudo-Boolean models as integer programming models. That is,Pseudo-Boolean problems lie on the border between the SAT domain and the integer programming field. In this paper, we approach Pseudo-Boolean problems from the integer programming side. We introduce the framework SCIP that implements constraint integer programming techniques. It integrates methods from constraint programming, integer programming, and SAT-solving: the solution of linear programming relaxations, propagation of linear as well as nonlinear constraints, and conflict analysis. We argue that this approach is suitable for Pseudo-Boolean instances containing general linear constraints, while it is less efficient for pure SAT problems. We present extensive computational experiments on the test set used for the Pseudo-Boolean evaluation 2007. We show that our approach is very efficient for optimization instances and competitive for feasibility problems. For the nonlinear parts, we also investigate the influence of linear programming relaxations and propagation methods on the performance. It turns out that both techniques are helpful for obtaining an efficient solution method.

We study online multicommodity minimum cost routing problems in networks, where commodities have to be routed sequentially. Arcs are equipped with load dependent price functions defining the routing weights. We discuss an online algorithm that routes each commodity by minimizing a convex cost function that depends on the demands that are previously routed. We present a competitive analysis of this algorithm showing that for affine linear price functions this algorithm is $4K/2+K$-competitive, where $K$ is the number of commodities. For the parallel arc case this algorithm is optimal. Without restrictions on the price functions and network, no algorithm is competitive. Finally, we investigate a variant in which the demands have to be routed unsplittably.