We give an explicit geometric way to build mixed-integer programming (MIP) formulations for unions of polyhedra. The construction is simply described in terms of spanning hyperplanes in an r-dimensional linear space. The resulting MIP formulation is ideal, and uses exactly r integer variables and 2 x (# of spanning hyperplanes) general inequality constraints. We use this result to derive novel logarithmic-sized ideal MIP formulations for discontinuous piecewise linear functions and structures appearing in robotics and power systems problems.
View A geometric way to build strong mixed-integer programming formulations