Using Multiple Reference Vectors and Objective Scaling in the Feasibility Pump

The Feasibility Pump (FP) is one of the best-known primal heuristics for mixed-integer programming (MIP): more than 15 papers suggested various modifications of all of its steps. So far, no variant considered information across multiple iterations, but all instead maintained the principle to optimize towards a single reference integer point. In this paper, we evaluate the usage of multiple reference vectors in all stages of the FP algorithm. In particular, we use LP-feasible vectors obtained during the main loop to tighten the variable domains before entering the computationally expensive enumeration stage. Moreover, we consider multiple integer reference vectors to explore further optimizing directions and introduce alternative objective scaling terms to balance the contributions of the distance functions and the original MIP objective. Our computational experiments demonstrate that the new method can improve performance on general MIP test sets. In detail, our modifications provide a 29.3% solution quality improvement and 4.0% running time improvement in an embedded setting, needing 16.0% fewer iterations over a large test set of MIP instances. In addition, the method’s success rate increases considerably within the first few iterations. In a standalone setting, we also observe a moderate performance improvement, which makes our version of FP suitable for the two main use-cases of the algorithm.


ZIB Report July 2022



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