Dual presolving reductions are a class of reformulation techniques that remove feasible or even optimal solutions while guaranteeing that at least one optimal solution remains, as long as the original problem was feasible. Presolving and dual reductions are important components of state-of-the-art mixed-integer linear programming solvers. In this paper, we introduce them both as unified, practical concepts in constraint programming solvers. Building on the existing idea of variable locks, we formally define and justify the use of dual information for cumulative constraints during a presolving phase of a solver. In particular, variable locks are used to decompose cumulative constraints, detect irrelevant variables, and infer variable assignments and domain reductions. Since the computational complexity of propagation algorithms typically depends on the number of variables and/or domain size, such dual reductions are a source of potential computational speed-up. Through experimental evidence on resource constrained project scheduling problems, we demonstrate that the conditions for dual reductions are present in well-known benchmark instances and that a substantial proportion of them can be solved to optimality in presolving -- without search. While we consider this result very promising, we do not observe significant change in overall run-time from the use of our novel dual reductions.
We investigate the computation of periodic timetables for public transport by mixed integer programming. After introducing the problem, we describe two mathematical models for periodic timetabling, the PERIODIC EVENT SCHEDULING PROBLEM (PESP) and the QUADRATIC SEMI-ASSIGNMENT PROBLEM. Speciﬁcally, we give an overview of existing integer programming (IP) formulations for both models. An important contribution of our work are new IP formulations for the PESP based on time discretization. We provide an analytical comparison of these formulations and describe different techniques that allow a more efﬁcient solution by mixed integer programming. In a preliminary computational study, on the basis of standard IP solvers, we compare different formulations for computing periodic timetables. Our results justify a further investigation of the time discretization approach. Typically the timetable is optimized for the current trafﬁc situation. The main difﬁculty with this approach is that after introducing the new timetable the passengers’ travel behavior may differ from that assumed for the computation. Motivated by this problem, we examine an iterative timetabling procedure that is a combination of timetable computation and passenger routing. We discuss the algorithmic issues of the passenger routing and study properties of the computed timetables. Finally, we conﬁrm our theoretical results on the basis of an own implementation.