Relaxations and discretizations for the pooling problem

The pooling problem is a folklore NP-hard global optimization problem that finds applications in industries such as petrochemical refining, wastewater treatment, and mining. This paper assimilates the vast literature on this problem that is dispersed over different areas and gives unifying arguments and new insights on prevalent techniques. We also present new ideas for computing lower bounds on the global optimum by solving high-dimensional linear programs. Finally, we pro- pose discretization methods for inner approximating the feasible region and obtaining good upper bounds. Valid inequalities are derived for the discretized models, which are formulated as mixed integer linear programs. The strength of our relaxations and usefulness of our discretizations is empirically validated on random test instances. We report best known upper bounds on some of the large-scale instances.


Journal of Global Optimization, vol. 67, issue 3, pp. 631-669, 2017.



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