ROBIST: Robust Optimization by Iterative Scenario Sampling and Statistical Testing

In this paper, we propose ROBIST, a simple, yet effective, data-driven algorithm for optimization under parametric uncertainty. The algorithm first generates solutions in an iterative manner by sampling and optimizing over a relatively small set of scenarios. Then, using statistical testing, the robustness of the solutions is evaluated, which can be done with a much … Read more

Optimizing the Path Towards Plastic-Free Oceans

Increasing ocean plastic pollution is irreversibly harming ecosystems and human economic activities. We partner with a non-profit organization and use optimization to help clean up oceans from plastic faster. Specifically, we optimize the route of their plastic collection system in the ocean to maximize the quantity of plastic collected over time. We formulate the problem … Read more

Cone product reformulation for global optimization

In this paper, we study nonconvex optimization problems involving sum of linear times convex (SLC) functions as well as conic constraints belonging to one of the five basic cones, that is, linear cone, second order cone, power cone, exponential cone, and semidefinite cone. By using the Reformulation Perspectification Technique, we can obtain a convex relaxation … Read more

A robust approach to food aid supply chains

One of the great challenges in reaching zero hunger is to secure the availability of sufficient nourishment in the worst of times such as humanitarian emergencies. Food aid operations during a humanitarian emergency are typically subject to a high level of uncertainty. In this paper, we develop a novel robust optimization model for food aid … Read more

A novel algorithm for a broad class of nonconvex optimization problems

In this paper, we propose a new global optimization approach for solving nonconvex optimization problems in which the nonconvex components are sums of products of convex functions. A broad class of nonconvex problems can be written in this way, such as concave minimization problems, difference of convex problems, and fractional optimization problems. Our approach exploits … Read more

Hidden convexity in a class of optimization problems with bilinear terms

In this paper we identify a new class of nonconvex optimization problems that can be equivalently reformulated to convex ones. These nonconvex problems can be characterized by convex functions with bilinear arguments. We describe several examples of important applications that have this structure. A reformulation technique is presented which converts the problems in this class … Read more

Minkowski Centers via Robust Optimization: Computation and Applications

Centers of convex sets are geometric objects that have received extensive attention in the mathematical and optimization literature, both from a theoretical and practical standpoint. For instance, they serve as initialization points for many algorithms such as interior-point, hit-and-run, or cutting-planes methods. First, we observe that computing a Minkowski center of a convex set can be formulated as … Read more

Mixed-Integer Optimization with Constraint Learning

We establish a broad methodological foundation for mixed-integer optimization with learned constraints. We propose an end-to-end pipeline for data-driven decision making in which constraints and objectives are directly learned from data using machine learning, and the trained models are embedded in an optimization formulation. We exploit the mixed-integer optimization-representability of many machine learning methods, including … Read more

Optimization with Constraint Learning: A Framework and Survey

Many real-life optimization problems frequently contain one or more constraints or objectives for which there are no explicit formulas. If data is however available, these data can be used to learn the constraints. The benefits of this approach are clearly seen, however there is a need for this process to be carried out in a … Read more

An extension of the Reformulation-Linearization Technique to nonlinear optimization

We introduce a novel Reformulation-Perspectification Technique (RPT) to obtain convex approximations of nonconvex continuous optimization problems. RPT consists of two steps, those are, a reformulation step and a perspectification step. The reformulation step generates redundant nonconvex constraints from pairwise multiplication of the existing constraints. The perspectification step then convexifies the nonconvex components by using perspective … Read more