## 90-XX OPERATIONS RESEARCH, MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING

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We study System Dynamics models with several free parameters that can be altered by the user. We assume that the user's goal is to achieve a certain dynamic behavior of the model by varying these parameters. In order to the find best possible combination of parameter settings, several automatic parameter tuning methods are described in the literature and readily available within existing System Dynamic software packages. We give a survey on the available techniques in the market and describe their theoretical background. Some of these methods are already six decades old, and meanwhile newer and more powerful optimization methods have emerged in the mathematical literature. One major obstacle for their direct use are tabled data in System Dynamics models, which are usually interpreted as piecewise linear functions. However, modern optimization methods usually require smooth functions which are twice continuously differentiable. We overcome this problem by a smooth spline interpolation of the tabled data. We use a test set of three complex System Dynamic models from the literature, describe their individual transition into optimization problems, and demonstrate the applicability of modern optimization algorithms to these System Dynamics Optimization problems.

We present a novel heuristic algorithm to identify feasible solutions of a mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem arising in natural gas transportation: the selection of new pipelines to enhance the network's capacity to a desired level in a cost-efficient way. We solve this problem in a linear programming based branch-and-cut approach, where we deal with the nonlinearities by linear outer approximation and spatial branching. At certain nodes of the branching tree, we compute a KKT point for a nonlinear relaxation. Based on the information from the KKT point we alter some of the integer variables in a locally promising way. We describe this heuristic for general MINLPs and then show how to tailor the heuristic to exploit our problem-specific structure. On a test set of real-world instances, we are able to increase the chance of identifying feasible solutions by some order of magnitude compared to standard MINLP heuristics that are already built in the general-purpose MINLP solver SCIP.

We consider a system dynamics model that describes the effect of human activity on natural resources. The central stocks are the accumulated profit, the industry structures, and the water resources. The model can be controlled through two time-dependent parameters. The goal in this paper is to find a parameter setting that leads to a maximization of a performance index, which reflects both environmental and economic aspects. Thus, the goal is to identify the most sustainable stock of industry structures within the model's constraints and assumptions. In order to find a proven global optimal parameter set, we formulate the System Dynamics Optimization model as a mixed-integer nonlinear problem that is accessible for numerical solvers. Due to the dynamic structure of the model, certain steps of the solution process must be handled with greater care, compared to standard non-dynamic problems. We describe our approach of solving the industry structure model and present computational results. In addition, we discuss the limitations of the approach and next steps.

We consider the following freight train routing problem (FTRP). Given is a
transportation network with fixed routes for passenger trains and a
set of freight trains (requests), each defined by an origin and
destination station pair. The objective is to calculate a feasible
route for each freight train such that a sum of all expected delays and
all running times is minimal. Previous research concentrated on
microscopic train routings for junctions or inside major stations. Only
recently approaches were developed to tackle larger corridors or even
networks. We investigate the routing problem from a strategic
perspective, calculating the routes in a macroscopic transportation
network of Deutsche Bahn AG. Here macroscopic refers to an aggregation of
complex real-world structures are into fewer network elements. Moreover, the
departure and arrival times of freight trains are approximated.
The problem has a strategic
character since it asks only for a coarse routing through the network
without the precise timings. We give a mixed-integer nonlinear programming~(MINLP)
formulation for FTRP, which is a multi-commodity flow model on a time-expanded
graph with additional routing constraints. The model's nonlinearities are due to
an algebraic approximation of the delays of the trains on the arcs of
the network
by capacity restraint functions. The MINLP is reduced to a mixed-integer linear model~(MILP)
by piecewise linear approximation. The latter is solved by a state of the art MILP solver for various real-world test instances.

We consider a nonlinear nonconvex network flow problem that arises, for example, in natural gas or water transmission networks. Given is such network with active and passive components, that is, valves, compressors, pressure regulators (active) and pipelines (passive), and a desired amount of flow at certain specified entry and exit nodes of the network. Besides flow conservation constraints in the nodes the flow must fulfill nonlinear nonconvex pressure loss constraints on the arcs subject to potential values (i.e., pressure levels) in both end nodes of each arc. The problem is how to numerically compute this flow and pressures. We review an existing approach of Maugis (1977) and extend it to the case of networks with active elements (for example, compressors). We further examine different ways of relaxations for the nonlinear network flow model. We compare different approaches based on nonlinear optimization numerically on a set of test instances.

The System Dynamics (SD) methodology is a framework for modeling and simulating the dynamic behavior of socioeconomic systems. Characteristic for the description of such systems is the occurrence of feedback loops together with stocks and flows. The mathematical equations that describe the system are usually ordinary differential equations and nonlinear algebraic constraints. Therefore seemingly simple systems can show a nonintuitive, unpredictable behavior over time. Controlling a dynamical system means to specify potential interventions from outside that should keep the system on the desired track, and to define an evaluation schema to compare different controls among each other, so that a "best" control can be defined in a meaningful way. The central question is how to compute such globally optimal control for a given SD model, that allows the transition of the system into a desired state with minimum effort. We propose a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) reformulation of the System Dynamics Optimization (SDO) problem. MINLP problems can be solved by linear programming based branch-and-bound approach. We demonstrate that standard MINLP solvers are not able to solve SDO problem. To overcome this obstacle, we introduce a special-tailored bound propagation method. We apply our new method to a predator-prey model with additional hunting activity as control, and to a mini-world model with the consumption level as control. Numerical results for these test cases are presented.

The Scenario Technique is a strategic planning method that aims to describe and analyze potential developments of a considered system in the future. Its application consists of several steps, from an initial problem analysis over an influence analysis to projections of key factors and a definition of the scenarios to a final interpretation of the results. The technique itself combines qualitative and quantitative methods and is an enhancement of the standard Scenario Technique. We use the numerical values gathered during the influence analysis, and embed them in a System Dynamics framework. This yields a mathematically rigorous way to achieve predictions of the system‘s future behavior from an initial impulse and the feedback structure of the factors. The outcome of our new method is a further way of projecting the present into the future, which enables the user of the Scenario Technique to obtain a validation of the results achieved by the standard method.

The System Dynamics (SD) methodology is a framework for modeling and simulating
the dynamic behavior of socioeconomic systems. Characteristic for the
description of such systems is the occurrence of feedback loops together with
stocks and flows. The mathematical equations that describe the system are
usually nonlinear. Therefore seemingly simple systems can show a nonintuitive,
nonpredictable behavior over time. Controlling a dynamical system means to
define a desired final state in which the system should be, and to specify
potential interventions from outside that should keep the system on the right
track. The central question is how to compute such globally optimal control for
a given SD model. We propose a branch-and-bound approach that is based on a
bound propagation method, primal heuristics, and spatial branching. We apply our
new SD-control method to a small System Dynamics model, that describes the
evolution of a social-economic system over time. We examine the problem of
steering this system on a sustainable consumption path.

We consider a nonlinear nonconvex network design problem that arises in the extension of natural gas transmission networks. Given is such network with active and passive components, that is, valves, compressors, pressure regulators (active) and pipelines (passive), and a desired amount of flow at certain specified entry and exit nodes of the network. Besides flow conservation constraints in the nodes the flow must fulfill nonlinear nonconvex pressure loss constraints on the arcs subject to potential values (i.e., pressure levels) in both end nodes of each arc. Assume that there does not exist a feasible flow that fulfills all physical constraints and meets the desired entry and exit amounts. Then a natural question is where to extend the network by adding pipes in the most economic way such that this flow becomes feasible. Answering this question is computationally demanding because of the difficult problem structure. We use mixed-integer nonlinear programming techniques that rely on an outer approximation of the overall problem, and a branching on decision variables. We formulate a new class of valid inequalities (or cutting planes) which reduce the overall solution time when added to the formulation. We demonstrate the computational merits of our approach on test instances.

The industrial treatment of waste paper in order to regain valuable
fibers from which recovered paper can be produced, involves several
steps of preparation. One important step is the separation of stickies
that are normally attached to the paper. If not properly separated,
remaining stickies reduce the quality of the recovered paper or even
disrupt the production process. For the mechanical separation process
of fibers from stickies a separator screen is used. This machine has
one input feed and two output streams, called the accept and the
reject. In the accept the fibers are concentrated, whereas the reject
has a higher concentration of stickies. The machine can be controlled
by setting its reject rate. But even when the reject rate is set
properly, after just a single screening step, the accept still has too
many stickies, or the reject too many fibers. To get a proper
separation, several separators have to be assembled into a
network. From a mathematical point of view this problem can be seen as
a multi-commodity network flow design problem with a nonlinear,
controllable distribution function at each node. We present a
nonlinear mixed-integer programming model for the simultaneous
selection of a subset of separators, the network's topology, and the
optimal setting of each separator.
Numerical results are obtained via
different types of linearization of the nonlinearities and the use of
mixed-integer linear solvers, and compared with state-of-the-art
global optimization software.