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Optimization-based bound tightening (OBBT) is a domain reduction technique commonly used in nonconvex mixed-integer nonlinear programming that solves a sequence of auxiliary linear programs. Each variable is minimized and maximized to obtain the tightest bounds valid for a global linear relaxation. This paper shows how the dual solutions of the auxiliary linear programs can be used to learn what we call Lagrangian variable bound constraints. These are linear inequalities that explain OBBT's domain reductions in terms of the bounds on other variables and the objective value of the incumbent solution. Within a spatial branch-and-bound algorithm, they can be learnt a priori (during OBBT at the root node) and propagated within the search tree at very low computational cost. Experiments with an implementation inside the MINLP solver SCIP show that this reduces the number of branch-and-bound nodes and speeds up solution times.

Optimization-based bound tightening (OBBT) is one of the most effective procedures to reduce variable domains of nonconvex mixed-integer nonlinear programs (MINLPs). At the same time it is one of the most expensive bound tightening procedures, since it solves auxiliary linear programs (LPs)—up to twice the number of variables many. The main goal of this paper is to discuss algorithmic techniques for an efficient implementation of OBBT.
Most state-of-the-art MINLP solvers apply some restricted version of OBBT and it seems to be common belief that OBBT is beneficial if only one is able to keep its computational cost under control. To this end, we introduce three techniques to increase the efficiency of OBBT: filtering strategies to reduce the number of solved LPs, ordering heuristics to exploit simplex warm starts, and the generation of Lagrangian variable bounds (LVBs). The propagation of LVBs during tree search is a fast approximation to OBBT without the need to solve auxiliary LPs.
We conduct extensive computational experiments on MINLPLib2. Our results indicate that OBBT is most beneficial on hard instances, for which we observe a speedup of 17% to 19% on average. Most importantly, more instances can be solved when using OBBT.