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We report on the selection process leading to the sixth version of the Mixed Integer Programming Library. Selected from an initial pool of over 5,000 instances, the new MIPLIB 2017 collection consists of 1,065 instances. A subset of 240 instances was specially selected for benchmarking solver performance. For the first time, the compilation of these sets was done using a data-driven selection process supported by the solution of a sequence of mixed integer optimization problems, which encoded requirements on diversity and balancedness with respect to instance features and performance data.

We investigate new convex relaxations for the pooling problem, a classic nonconvex production planning problem in which products are mixed in intermediate pools in order to meet quality targets at their destinations. In this technical report, we characterize the extreme points of the convex hull of our non-convex set, and show that they are not finite, i.e., the convex hull is not polyhedral. This analysis was used to derive valid nonlinear convex inequalities and show that, for a specific case, they characterize the convex hull of our set. The new valid inequalities and computational results are presented in ZIB Report 18-12.

We investigate new convex relaxations for the pooling problem, a classic nonconvex production planning problem in which input materials are mixed in intermediate pools, with the outputs of these pools further mixed to make output products meeting given attribute percentage requirements. Our relaxations are derived by considering a set which arises from the formulation by considering a single product, a single attibute, and a single pool. The convex hull of the resulting nonconvex set is not polyhedral. We derive valid linear and convex nonlinear inequalities for the convex hull, and demonstrate that different subsets of these inequalities define the convex hull of the nonconvex set in three cases determined by the parameters of the set. Computational results on literature instances and newly created larger test instances demonstrate that the inequalities can significantly strengthen the convex relaxation of the pq-formulation of the pooling problem, which is the relaxation known to have the strongest bound.

Mathematical models for optimal decisions often require both nonlinear and discrete components. These mixed-integer nonlinear programs (MINLP) may be used to optimize the energy use of large industrial plants, integrate renewable sources into energy networks, design biological and biomedical systems, and address numerous other applications of societal importance. The first MINLP algorithms and software were designed by application engineers. While these efforts initially proved useful, scientists, engineers, and practitioners have realized that a transformational shift in technology will be required for MINLP to achieve its full potential. MINLP has transitioned to a forefront position in computer science, with researchers actively developing MINLP theory, algorithms, and implementations. Even with their concerted effort, algorithms and available software are often unable to solve practically-sized instances of these important models. Current obstacles include characterizing the computability boundary, effectively exploiting known optimization technologies for specialized classes of MINLP, and effectively using logical formulas holistically throughout algorithms.