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We consider a multicommodity routing problem, where demands are released \emph{online} and have to be routed in a network during specified time windows. The objective is to minimize a time and load dependent convex cost function of the aggregate arc flow. First, we study the fractional routing variant. We present two online algorithms, called Seq and Seq$^2$. Our first main result states that, for cost functions defined by polynomial price functions with nonnegative coefficients and maximum degree~$d$, the competitive ratio of Seq and Seq$^2$ is at most $(d+1)^{d+1}$, which is tight. We also present lower bounds of $(0.265\,(d+1))^{d+1}$ for any online algorithm. In the case of a network with two nodes and parallel arcs, we prove a lower bound of $(2-\frac{1}{2} \sqrt{3})$ on the competitive ratio for Seq and Seq$^2$, even for affine linear price functions. Furthermore, we study resource augmentation, where the online algorithm has to route less demand than the offline adversary. Second, we consider unsplittable routings. For this setting, we present two online algorithms, called U-Seq and U-Seq$^2$. We prove that for polynomial price functions with nonnegative coefficients and maximum degree~$d$, the competitive ratio of U-Seq and U-Seq$^2$ is bounded by $O{1.77^d\,d^{d+1}}$. We present lower bounds of $(0.5307\,(d+1))^{d+1}$ for any online algorithm and $(d+1)^{d+1}$ for our algorithms. Third, we consider a special case of our framework: online load balancing in the $\ell_p$-norm. For the fractional and unsplittable variant of this problem, we show that our online algorithms are $p$ and $O{p}$ competitive, respectively. Such results where previously known only for scheduling jobs on restricted (un)related parallel machines.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Constraint Integer Programming (CIP) is a generalization of mixed-integer programming (MIP) in the direction of constraint programming (CP) allowing the inference techniques that have traditionally been the core of \P to be integrated with the problem solving techniques that form the core of complete MIP solvers. In this paper, we investigate the application of CIP to scheduling problems that require resource and start-time assignments to satisfy resource capacities. The best current approach to such problems is logic-based Benders decomposition, a manual decomposition method. We present a CIP model and demonstrate that it achieves performance competitive to the decomposition while out-performing the standard MIP and CP formulations.

Despite the success of constraint programming (CP) for scheduling, the much wider penetration of mixed integer programming (MIP) technology into business applications means that many practical scheduling problems are being addressed with MIP, at least as an initial approach. Furthermore, there has been impressive and well-documented improvements in the power of generic MIP solvers over the past decade.
We empirically demonstrate that on an existing set of resource allocation and scheduling problems standard MIP and CP models are now competitive with the state-of-the-art manual decomposition approach. Motivated by this result, we formulate two tightly coupled hybrid models based on constraint integer programming (CIP) and demonstrate that these models,
which embody advances in CP and MIP, are able to out-perform the CP, MIP, and decomposition models. We conclude that both MIP and CIP
are technologies that should be considered along with CP for solving scheduling problems.

この論文ではソフトウェア・パッケージSCIP Optimization Suite を紹介し，その３つの構成要素：モデリン
グ言語Zimpl, 線形計画（LP: linear programming) ソルバSoPlex, そして，制約整数計画(CIP: constraint
integer programming) に対するソフトウェア・フレームワークSCIP, について述べる．本論文では，この３つの
構成要素を利用して，どのようにして挑戦的な混合整数線形計画問題(MIP: mixed integer linear optimization
problems) や混合整数非線形計画問題(MINLP: mixed integer nonlinear optimization problems) をモデル化
し解くのかを説明する．SCIP は，現在，最も高速なMIP,MINLP ソルバの１つである．いくつかの例により，
Zimpl, SCIP, SoPlex の利用方法を示すとともに，利用可能なインタフェースの概要を示す．最後に，将来の開
発計画の概要について述べる．

This paper introduces the SCIP Optimization Suite and discusses the capabilities of its three components: the modeling language Zimpl, the linear programming solver SoPlex, and the constraint integer programming framework SCIP. We explain how these can be used in concert to model and solve challenging mixed integer linear and nonlinear optimization problems. SCIP is currently one of the fastest non-commercial MIP and MINLP solvers. We demonstrate the usage of Zimpl, SCIP, and SoPlex by selected examples, we give an overview of available interfaces, and outline plans for future development.

Recent improvements using constraint integer programming for resource allocation and scheduling
(2013)

Recently, we compared the performance of mixed-integer programming (MIP), constraint programming (CP), and constraint integer programming (CIP) to a state-of-the-art logic-based Benders manual decomposition (LBBD) for a resource allocation/scheduling problem. For a simple linear relaxation, the LBBD and CIP models deliver comparable performance with MIP also performing well.
Here we show that algorithmic developments in CIP plus the use of an existing tighter relaxation substantially improve one of the CIP approaches. Furthermore, the use of the same relaxation in LBBD and MIP models significantly improves their performance. While such a result is known for LBBD, to the best of our knowledge, the other results are novel. Our experiments show that both CIP and MIP approaches are competitive with LBBD in terms of the number of problems solved to proven optimality, though MIP is about three times slower on average. Further, unlike the LBBD and CIP approaches, the MIP model is able to obtain provably high-quality solutions for all problem instances.

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 a linear relaxation to solve MIQCPs to global optimality. Our analysis is based on a set of 86 publicly available test instances.

制約整数計画ソルバ SCIP の並列化
(2013)

制約整数計画(CIP: Constraint Integer Programming)は，制約プログラミング(CP: Constraint Programming)，
混合整数計画(MIP: Mixed Integer Programming), 充足可能性問題(SAT: Satisfiability Problems)の研究
分野におけるモデリング技術と解法を統合している．その結果，制約整数計画は，広いクラスの最適化問題を
扱うことができる．SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs)は，CIPを解くソルバとして実装され,
Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB)の研究者を中心として継続的に拡張が続けられている．本論文では，
著者らによって開発されたSCIP に対する2種類の並列化拡張を紹介する．
一つは，複数計算ノード間で大規模に並列動作するParaSCIP である．
もう一つは，複数コアと共有メモリを持つ１台の計算機上で(スレッド)並列で動作するFiberSCIP である．
ParaSCIP は，HLRN IIスーパーコンピュータ上で，
一つのインスタンスを解くために最大7,168 コアを利用した動作実績がある．また，
統計数理研究所のFujitsu PRIMERGY RX200S5上でも，最大512コアを利用した動作実績がある．
統計数理研究所のFujitsu PRIMERGY RX200S5上 では，これまでに最適解が得られていなかった
MIPLIB2010のインスタンスであるdg012142に最適解を与えた．

Dual presolving reductions are a class of reformulation techniques that remove feasible or even optimal solutions while guaranteeing that at least one optimal solution remains, as long as the original problem was feasible. Presolving and dual reductions are important components of state-of-the-art mixed-integer linear programming solvers. In this paper, we introduce them both as unified, practical concepts in constraint programming solvers. Building on the existing idea of variable locks, we formally define and justify the use of dual information for cumulative constraints during a presolving phase of a solver. In particular, variable locks are used to decompose cumulative constraints, detect irrelevant variables, and infer variable assignments and domain reductions. Since the computational complexity of propagation algorithms typically depends on the number of variables and/or domain size, such dual reductions are a source of potential computational speed-up. Through experimental evidence on resource constrained project scheduling problems, we demonstrate that the conditions for dual reductions are present in well-known benchmark instances and that a substantial proportion of them can be solved to optimality in presolving -- without search. While we consider this result very promising, we do not observe significant change in overall run-time from the use of our novel dual reductions.

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.

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.

In this paper we study online multicommodity routing problems in networks, in which commodities have to be routed sequentially. The flow of each commodity can be split on several paths. Arcs are equipped with load dependent price functions defining routing costs, which have to be minimized. We discuss a greedy online algorithm that routes each commodity by minimizing a convex cost function that only depends on the demands previously routed. We present a competitive analysis of this algorithm showing that for affine linear price functions this algorithm is 4K2 (1+K)2 -competitive, where K is the number of commodities. For the single-source single-destination 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.

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 for solving satisfiability problems. SCIP is available in source code and free for noncommercial use. We demonstrate the usefulness of CIP on three 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 demonstrate how to use CIP techniques to compute the number of optimal solutions of integer programs. Third, we employ the CIP framework to solve chip design verification problems, which involve some highly nonlinear 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 nonlinear constraints by employing constraint programming techniques.

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.

In the recent years there has been tremendous progress in the development of algorithms to find optimal solutions for integer programs. In many applications it is, however, desirable (or even necessary) to generate all feasible solutions. Examples arise in the areas of hardware and software verification and discrete geometry. In this paper, we investigate how to extend branch-and-cut integer programming frameworks to support the generation of all solutions. We propose a method to detect so-called unrestricted subtrees, which allows us to prune the integer program search tree and to collect several solutions simultaneously. We present computational results of this branch-and-count paradigm which show the potential of the unrestricted subtree detection.

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.

Recently, parallel computing environments have become significantly popular. In order to obtain the benefit of using parallel computing environments, we have to deploy our programs for these effectively. This paper focuses on a parallelization of SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs), which is a MIP solver and constraint integer programming framework available in source code. There is a parallel extension of SCIP named ParaSCIP, which parallelizes SCIP on massively parallel distributed memory computing environments. This paper describes FiberSCIP, which is yet another parallel extension of SCIP to utilize multi-threaded parallel computation on shared memory computing environments, and has the following contributions: First, the basic concept of having two parallel extensions and the relationship between them and the parallelization framework provided by UG (Ubiquity Generator) is presented, including an implementation of deterministic parallelization. Second, the difficulties to achieve a good performance that utilizes all resources on an actual computing environment and the difficulties of performance evaluation of the parallel solvers are discussed. Third, a way to evaluate the performance of new algorithms and parameter settings of the parallel extensions is presented. Finally, current performance of FiberSCIP for solving mixed-integer linear programs (MIPs) and mixed-integer non-linear programs (MINLPs) in parallel is demonstrated.

Contemporary supercomputers can easily provide years of
CPU time per wall-clock hour. One challenge of today's software
development is how to harness this wast computing power in order to solve
really hard mixed integer programming instances. In 2010, two out of
six open MIPLIB2003 instances could be solved by ParaSCIP in more than
ten consecutive runs, restarting from checkpointing files.
The contribution of this paper is threefold:
For the first time, we present computational results of single runs for
those two instances. Secondly, we provide new improved upper and lower
bounds for all of the remaining four open MIPLIB2003 instances.
Finally, we explain which new developments led to these results and
discuss the current progress of ParaSCIP. Experiments were conducted on
HLRNII, on HLRN III, and on the Titan supercomputer, using up to 35,200 cores.

Many online problems encountered in real-life involve a two-stage decision process: upon arrival of a new request, an irrevocable first-stage decision (the assignment of a specific resource to the request) must be made immediately, while in a second stage process, certain ``subinstances'' (that is, the instances of all requests assigned to a particular resource) can be solved to optimality (offline) later. We introduce the novel concept of an \emph{Online Target Date Assignment Problem} (\textsc{OnlineTDAP}) as a general framework for online problems with this nature. Requests for the \textsc{OnlineTDAP} become known at certain dates. An online algorithm has to assign a target date to each request, specifying on which date the request should be processed (e.\,g., an appointment with a customer for a washing machine repair). The cost at a target date is given by the \emph{downstream cost}, the optimal cost of processing all requests at that date w.\,r.\,t.\ some fixed downstream offline optimization problem (e.\,g., the cost of an optimal dispatch for service technicians). We provide general competitive algorithms for the \textsc{OnlineTDAP} independently of the particular downstream problem, when the overall objective is to minimize either the sum or the maximum of all downstream costs. As the first basic examples, we analyze the competitive ratios of our algorithms for the par ticular academic downstream problems of bin-packing, nonpreemptive scheduling on identical parallel machines, and routing a traveling salesman.

The standard computational methods for computing the optimal value functions of Markov Decision Problems (MDP) require the exploration of the entire state space. This is practically infeasible for applications with huge numbers of states as they arise, e.\,g., from modeling the decisions in online optimization problems by MDPs. Exploiting column generation techniques, we propose and apply an LP-based method to determine an $\varepsilon$-approximation of the optimal value function at a given state by inspecting only states in a small neighborhood. In the context of online optimization problems, we use these methods in order to evaluate the quality of concrete policies with respect to given initial states. Moreover, the tools can also be used to obtain evidence of the impact of single decisions. This way, they can be utilized in the design of policies.

Primal heuristics play an important role in the solving of mixed integer programs (MIPs). They help to reach optimality faster and provide good feasible solutions early in the solving process. In this paper, we present two new primal heuristics which take into account global structures available within MIP solvers to construct feasible solutions at the beginning of the solving process. These heuristics follow a large neighborhood search (LNS) approach and use global structures to define a neighborhood that is with high probability significantly easier to process while (hopefully) still containing good feasible solutions. The definition of the neighborhood is done by iteratively fixing variables and propagating these fixings. Thereby, fixings are determined based on the predicted impact they have on the subsequent domain propagation. The neighborhood is solved as a sub-MIP and solutions are transferred back to the original problem. Our computational experiments on standard MIP test sets show that the proposed heuristics find solutions for about every third instance and therewith help to improve the average solving time.

Recently, parallel computing environments have become significantly popular. In order to obtain the benefit of using parallel computing environments, we have to deploy our programs for these effectively. This paper focuses on a parallelization of SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs), which is a mixed-integer linear programming solver and constraint integer programming framework available in source code. There is a parallel extension of SCIP named ParaSCIP, which parallelizes SCIP on massively parallel distributed memory computing environments. This paper describes FiberSCIP, which is yet another parallel extension of SCIP to utilize multi-threaded parallel computation on shared memory computing environments, and has the following contributions: First, we present the basic concept of having two parallel extensions, and the relationship between them and the parallelization framework provided by UG (Ubiquity Generator), including an implementation of deterministic parallelization. Second, we discuss the difficulties in achieving a good performance that utilizes all resources on an actual computing environment, and the difficulties of performance evaluation of the parallel solvers. Third, we present a way to evaluate the performance of new algorithms and parameter settings of the parallel extensions. Finally, we demonstrate the current performance of FiberSCIP for solving mixed-integer linear programs (MIPs) and mixed-integer nonlinear programs (MINLPs) in parallel.

The Ubiquity Generator (UG) is a general framework for the external parallelization of mixed integer programming (MIP) solvers. In this paper, we present ParaXpress, a distributed memory parallelization of the powerful commercial MIP solver FICO Xpress. Besides sheer performance, an important feature of Xpress is that it provides an internal parallelization for shared memory systems. When aiming for a best possible performance of ParaXpress on a supercomputer, the question arises how to balance the internal Xpress parallelization and the external parallelization by UG against each other. We provide computational experiments to address this question and we show computational results for running ParaXpress on a Top500 supercomputer, using up to 43,344 cores in parallel.

The analysis of infeasible subproblems plays an import role in solving mixed integer programs (MIPs) and is implemented in most major MIP solvers. There are two fundamentally different concepts to generate valid global constraints from infeasible subproblems. The first is to analyze the sequence of implications obtained by domain propagation that led to infeasibility. The result of the analysis is one or more sets of contradicting variable bounds from which so-called conflict constraints can be generated. This concept has its origin in solving satisfiability problems and is similarly used in constraint programming. The second concept is to analyze infeasible linear programming (LP) relaxations. The dual LP solution provides a set of multipliers that can be used to generate a single new globally valid linear constraint. The main contribution of this short paper is an empirical evaluation of two ways to combine both approaches. Experiments are carried out on general MIP instances from standard public test sets such as Miplib2010; the presented algorithms have been implemented within the non-commercial MIP solver SCIP. Moreover, we present a pool-based approach to manage conflicts which addresses the way a MIP solver traverses the search tree better than aging strategies known from SAT solving.

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. (INFORMS J Comput 18:129–134, 2006). The aim of this paper is to bring these different studies together. Moreover, we adapt the model of Forrest et al. (INFORMS J Comput 18:129–134, 2006) 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 (Schaus et al., Constraints 16:125–147, 2010). 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.