A Low-rank Spectral Optimization Problem (LSOP) minimizes a linear objective subject to multiple two-sided linear matrix inequalities intersected with a low-rank and spectral constrained domain set. Although solving LSOP is, in general, NP-hard, its partial convexification (i.e., replacing the domain set by its convex hull) termed "LSOP-R", is often tractable and yields a high-quality solution. This motivates us to study the strength of LSOP-R. Specifically, we derive rank bounds for any extreme point of the feasible set of LSOP-R and prove their tightness for the domain sets with different matrix spaces. The proposed rank bounds recover two well-known results in the literature from a fresh angle and also allow us to derive sufficient conditions under which the relaxation LSOP-R is equivalent to the original LSOP. To effectively solve LSOP-R, we develop a column generation algorithm with a vector-based convex pricing oracle, coupled with a rank-reduction algorithm, which ensures the output solution satisfies the theoretical rank bound. Finally, we numerically verify the strength of the LSOP-R and the efficacy of the proposed algorithms.
Li, Y., Xie, W. (2023) On the Partial Convexification of the Low-Rank Spectral Optimization: Rank Bounds and Algorithms. Available at Optimization Online.