We study the Quadratic Cycle Cover Problem (QCCP), which aims to find a node-disjoint cycle cover in a directed graph with minimum interaction cost between successive arcs. We derive several semidefinite programming (SDP) relaxations and use facial reduction to make these strictly feasible. We investigate a nontrivial relationship between the transformation matrix used in the reduction and the structure of the graph, which is exploited in an efficient algorithm that constructs this matrix for any instance of the problem. To solve our relaxations, we propose an algorithm that incorporates an augmented Lagrangian method into a cutting plane framework by utilizing Dykstra's projection algorithm. Our algorithm is suitable for solving SDP relaxations with a large number of cutting planes. Computational results show that our SDP bounds and our efficient cutting plane algorithm outperform other QCCP bounding approaches from the literature. Finally, we provide several SDP-based upper bounding techniques, among which a sequential Q-learning method that exploits a solution of our SDP relaxation within a reinforcement learning environment.

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View SDP-based bounds for the Quadratic Cycle Cover Problem via cutting plane augmented Lagrangian methods and reinforcement learning