On feasibility based bounds tightening

Mathematical programming problems involving nonconvexities are usually solved to optimality using a (spatial) Branch-and-Bound algorithm. Algorithmic efficiency depends on many factors, among which the widths of the bounding box for the problem variables at each Branch-and-Bound node naturally plays a critical role. The practically fastest box-tightening algorithm is known as FBBT (Feasibility-Based Bounds Tightening): an iterative procedure to tighten the variable ranges. Depending on the instance, FBBT may not converge finitely to its limit ranges, even in the case of linear constraints. Tolerance-based termination criteria yield finite termination, but not in worst-case polynomial-time. We model FBBT by using fixed-point equations in terms of the variable bounding box, and we treat these equations as constraints of an auxiliary mathematical program. We demonstrate that the auxiliary mathematical problem is a linear program, which can of course be solved in polynomial time. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by improving an existing Branch-and-Bound implementation.



View On feasibility based bounds tightening