This paper presents a new warmstarting technique in the context of a primal-dual column generation method applied to solve a particular class of combinatorial optimization problems. The technique relies on calculating an initial point and on solving auxiliary linear optimization problems to determine the step direction needed to fully restore primal and dual feasibilities after new columns arrive. Conditions on the maximum size of the cuts and on a suitable initial point are discussed. Additionally, the strategy ensures that the duality gap of the warmstart is bounded by the old duality gap multiplied with a (small) constant, which depends on the relation between the old and modified problems. Computational experiments demonstrate the gains achieved when compared to a coldstart approach.
Technical Report ERGO 12-007 University of Edinburgh, School of Mathematics June, 2012