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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Orbitopes can be used to handle symmetries which arise in integer programming formulations with an inherent assignment structure. We investigate the detection of symmetries appearing in this approach. We show that detecting so-called orbitopal symmetries is graph-isomorphism hard in general, but can be performed in linear time if the assignment structure is known.

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.

In this paper we give an overview of the heuristics which are integrated into the open source branch-cut-and-price-framework SCIP. We briefly describe the fundamental ideas of different categories of heuristics and present some computational results which demonstrate the impact of heuristics on the overall solving process of SCIP.

A lot of problems arising in Combinatorial Optimization and Operations Research can be formulated as Mixed Integer Programs (MIP). Although MIP-solving is an NP-hard optimization problem, many practically relevant instances can be solved in reasonable time. In modern MIP-solvers like the branch-cut-and-price-framework SCIP, primal heuristics play a major role in finding and improving feasible solutions at the early steps of the solution process. This helps to reduce the overall computational effort, guides the remaining search process, and proves the feasibility of the MIP model. Furthermore, a heuristic solution with a small gap to optimality often is sufficient in practice. We investigate 16 different heuristics, all of which are available in SCIP. Four of them arise from the literature of the last decade, nine are specific implementations of general heuristic ideas, three have been newly developed. We present an improved version of the feasibility pump heuristic by Fischetti et al., which in experiments produced solutions with only a third of the optimality gap compared to the original version. Furthermore, we introduce two new Large Neighborhood Search (LNS) heuristics. Crossover is an LNS improvement heuristic making use of similarities of diverse MIP solutions to generate new incumbent solutions. RENS is an LNS rounding heuristic which evaluates the space of all possible roundings of a fractional LP-solution. This heuristic makes it possible to determine whether a point can be rounded to an integer solution and which is the best possible rounding. We conclude with a computational comparison of all described heuristics. It points out that a single heuristic on its own has only a slight impact on the overall performance of SCIP, but the combination of all of them reduces the running time by a factor of two compared to a version without any heuristics.