## 90-XX OPERATIONS RESEARCH, MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING

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The Periodic Event Scheduling Problem (PESP) is a notoriously hard combinatorial optimization problem, essential for the design of periodic timetables in public transportation. The coefficients of the integer variables in the standard mixed integer linear programming formulations of PESP are the period time, e.g., 60 for a horizon of one hour with a resolution of one minute. In many application scenarios, lines with different frequencies have to be scheduled, leading to period times with many divisors. It then seems natural to consider derived instances, where the period time is a divisor of the original one, thereby smaller, and bounds are scaled and rounded accordingly. To this end, we identify two rounding schemes: wide and tight. We then discuss the approximation performance of both strategies, in theory and practice.

We present incremental heuristics for the Periodic Event Scheduling Problem (PESP), the standard mathematical tool to optimize periodic timetables in public transport. The core of our method is to solve successively larger subinstances making use of previously found solutions. Introducing the technical notion of free stratifications, we formulate a general scheme for incremental heuristics for PESP. More practically, we use line and station information to create heuristics that add lines or stations one by one, and we evaluate these heuristics on instances of the benchmarking library PESPlib. This approach is indeed viable, and leads to new incumbent solutions for six PESPlib instances.

Mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) plays a crucial role in the field of mathematical optimization and is especially relevant for practical applications due to the broad range of problems that can be modeled in that fashion. The vast majority of MILP solvers employ the LP-based branch-and-cut approach. As the name suggests, the linear programming (LP) subproblems that need to be solved therein influence their behavior and performance significantly.
This thesis explores the impact of various LP solvers as well as LP solving techniques on the constraint integer programming framework SCIP Optimization Suite. SCIP allows for comparisons between academic and open-source LP solvers like Clp and SoPlex, as well as commercially developed, high-end codes like CPLEX, Gurobi, and Xpress.
We investigate how the overall performance and stability of an MILP solver can be improved by new algorithmic enhancements like LP solution polishing and persistent scaling that we have implemented in the LP solver SoPlex. The former decreases the fractionality of LP solutions by selecting another vertex on the optimal hyperplane of the LP relaxation, exploiting degeneracy. The latter provides better numerical properties for the LP solver throughout the MILP solving process by preserving and extending the initial scaling factors, effectively also improving the overall performance of SCIP. Both enhancement techniques are activated by default in the SCIP Optimization Suite.
Additionally, we provide an analysis of numerical conditions in SCIP through the lens of the LP solver by comparing different measures and how these evolve during the different stages of the solving process. A side effect of our work on this topic was the development of TreeD: a new and convenient way of presenting the search tree interactively and animated in the three-dimensional space. This visualization technique facilitates a better understanding of the MILP solving process of SCIP.
Furthermore, this thesis presents the various algorithmic techniques like the row representation and iterative refinement that are implemented in SoPlex and that distinguish the solver from other simplex-based codes. Although it is often not as performant as its competitors, SoPlex demonstrates the ongoing research efforts in the field of linear programming with the simplex method.
Aside from that, we demonstrate the rapid prototyping of algorithmic ideas and modeling approaches via PySCIPOpt, the Python interface to the SCIP Optimization Suite. This tool allows for convenient access to SCIP's internal data structures from the user-friendly Python programming language to implement custom algorithms and extensions without any prior knowledge of SCIP's programming language C. TreeD is one such example, demonstrating the use of several Python libraries on top of SCIP. PySCIPOpt also provides an intuitive modeling layer to formulate problems directly in the code without having to utilize another modeling language or framework.
All contributions presented in this thesis are readily accessible in source code in SCIP Optimization Suite or as separate projects on the public code-sharing platform GitHub.

Construction of a Test Library for the Rolling Stock Rotation Problem with Predictive Maintenance
(2023)

We describe the development of a test library for the rolling stock rotation problem with predictive maintenance (RSRP-PdM). Our approach involves the utilization of genuine timetables from a private German railroad company. The generated instances incorporate probability distribution functions for modeling the health states of the vehicles and the considered trips possess varying degradation functions. RSRP-PdM involves assigning trips to a fleet of vehicles and scheduling their maintenance based on their individual health states. The goal is to minimize the total costs consisting of operational costs and the expected costs associated with vehicle failures. The failure probability is dependent on the health states of the vehicles, which are assumed to be random variables distributed by a family of probability distributions. Each distribution is represented by the parameters characterizing it and during the operation of the trips, these parameters get altered. Our approach incorporates non-linear degradation functions to describe the inference of the parameters but also linear ones could be applied. The resulting instances consist of the timetables of the individual lines that use the same vehicle type. Overall, we employ these assumptions and utilize open-source data to create a library of instances with varying difficulty. Our approach is vital for evaluating and comparing algorithms designed to solve the RSRP-PdM.

The current cut selection algorithm used in mixed-integer programming solvers has remained largely unchanged since its creation. In this paper, we propose a set of new cut scoring measures, cut filtering techniques, and stopping criteria, extending the current state-of-the-art algorithm and obtaining a 5\% performance improvement for SCIP over the MIPLIB 2017 benchmark set.

Convergence Properties of Newton's Method for Globally Optimal Free Flight Trajectory Optimization
(2023)

The algorithmic efficiency of Newton-based methods for Free Flight Trajectory Optimization is heavily influenced by the size of the domain of convergence. We provide numerical evidence that the convergence radius is much larger in practice than what the theoretical worst case bounds suggest. The algorithm can be further improved by a convergence-enhancing domain decomposition.

The Periodic Event Scheduling Problem (PESP) is the central mathematical tool for periodic timetable optimization in public transport. PESP can be formulated in several ways as a mixed-integer linear program with typically general integer variables.
We investigate the split closure of these formulations and show that split inequalities are identical with the recently introduced flip inequalities. While split inequalities are a general mixed-integer programming technique, flip inequalities are defined in purely combinatorial terms, namely cycles and arc sets of the digraph underlying the PESP instance. It is known that flip inequalities can be separated in pseudo-polynomial time. We prove that this is best possible unless P $=$ NP, but also observe that the complexity becomes linear-time if the cycle defining the flip inequality is fixed.
Moreover, introducing mixed-integer-compatible maps, we compare the split closures of different formulations, and show that reformulation or binarization by subdivision do not lead to stronger split closures. Finally, we estimate computationally how much of the optimality gap of the instances of the benchmark library PESPlib can be closed exclusively by split cuts, and provide better dual bounds for five instances.

Cutting planes and branching are two of the most important algorithms for solving mixed-integer linear programs. For both algorithms, disjunctions play an important role, being used both as branching candidates and as the foundation for some cutting planes. We relate branching decisions and cutting planes to each other through the underlying disjunctions that they are based on, with a focus on Gomory mixed-integer cuts and their corresponding split disjunctions. We show that selecting branching decisions based on quality measures of Gomory mixed-integer cuts leads to relatively small branch-and-bound trees, and that the result improves when using cuts that more accurately represent the branching decisions. Finally, we show how the history of previously computed Gomory mixed-integer cuts can be used to improve the performance of the state-of-the-art hybrid branching rule of SCIP. Our results show a 4% decrease in solve time, and an 8% decrease in number of nodes over affected instances of MIPLIB 2017.

This paper is concerned with the exact solution of mixed-integer programs (MIPs) over the rational numbers, i.e., without any roundoff errors and error tolerances. Here, one computational bottleneck that should be avoided whenever possible is to employ large-scale symbolic computations. Instead it is often possible to use safe directed rounding methods, e.g., to generate provably correct dual bounds. In this work, we continue to leverage this paradigm and extend an exact branch-and-bound framework by separation routines for safe cutting planes, based on the approach first introduced by Cook, Dash, Fukasawa, and Goycoolea in 2009. Constraints are aggregated safely using approximate dual multipliers from an LP solve, followed by mixed-integer rounding to generate provably valid, although slightly weaker inequalities. We generalize this approach to problem data that is not representable in floating-point arithmetic, add routines for controlling the encoding length of the resulting cutting planes, and show how these cutting planes can be verified according to the VIPR certificate standard. Furthermore, we analyze the performance impact of these cutting planes in the context of an exact MIP framework, showing that we can solve 21.5% more instances and reduce solving times by 26.8% on the MIPLIB 2017 benchmark test set.

The optimization of periodic timetables is an indispensable planning task in public transport. Although the periodic event scheduling problem (PESP) provides an elegant mathematical formulation of the periodic timetabling problem that led to many insights for primal heuristics, it is notoriously hard to solve to optimality. One reason is that for the standard mixed-integer linear programming formulations, linear programming relaxations are weak and the integer variables are of pure technical nature and in general do not correlate with the objective value. While the first problem has been addressed by developing several families of cutting planes, we focus on the second aspect. We discuss integral forward cycle bases as a concept to compute improved dual bounds for PESP instances. To this end, we develop the theory of forward cycle bases on general digraphs. Specifically for the application of timetabling, we devise a generic procedure to construct line-based event-activity networks, and give a simple recipe for an integral forward cycle basis on such networks. Finally, we analyze the 16 railway instances of the benchmark library PESPlib, match them to the line-based structure and use forward cycle bases to compute better dual bounds for 14 out of the 16 instances.