On Approximations of Data-Driven Chance Constrained Programs over Wasserstein Balls

Distributionally robust chance constrained programs minimize a deterministic cost function subject to the satisfaction of one or more safety conditions with high probability, given that the probability distribution of the uncertain problem parameters affecting the safety condition(s) is only known to belong to some ambiguity set. We study two popular approximation schemes for distributionally robust … Read more

Robust Phi-Divergence MDPs

In recent years, robust Markov decision processes (MDPs) have emerged as a prominent modeling framework for dynamic decision problems affected by uncertainty. In contrast to classical MDPs, which only account for stochasticity by modeling the dynamics through a stochastic process with a known transition kernel, robust MDPs additionally account for ambiguity by optimizing in view … Read more

Wasserstein Logistic Regression with Mixed Features

Recent work has leveraged the popular distributionally robust optimization paradigm to combat overfitting in classical logistic regression. While the resulting classification scheme displays a promising performance in numerical experiments, it is inherently limited to numerical features. In this paper, we show that distributionally robust logistic regression with mixed (i.e., numerical and categorical) features, despite amounting … Read more

A Unifying Framework for the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem under Risk and Ambiguity

We propose a generic model for the capacitated vehicle routing problem (CVRP) under demand uncertainty. By combining risk measures or disutility functions with complete or partial characterizations of the probability distribution governing the demands, our formulation bridges the popular but often independently studied paradigms of stochastic programming and distributionally robust optimization. We characterize when an … Read more

On the Optimality of Affine Decision Rules in Robust and Distributionally Robust Optimization

We propose tight conditions under which two-stage robust and distributionally robust optimization problems are optimally solved in affine decision rules. Contrary to previous work, our conditions do not impose any structure on the support of the uncertain problem parameters, and they ensure point-wise (as opposed to worst-case) optimality of affine decision rules. The absence of … Read more

Mathematical Foundations of Robust and Distributionally Robust Optimization

Robust and distributionally robust optimization are modeling paradigms for decision-making under uncertainty where the uncertain parameters are only known to reside in an uncertainty set or are governed by any probability distribution from within an ambiguity set, respectively, and a decision is sought that minimizes a cost function under the most adverse outcome of the … Read more

A Planner-Trader Decomposition for Multi-Market Hydro Scheduling

Peak/off-peak spreads on European electricity forward and spot markets are eroding due to the ongoing nuclear phaseout and the steady growth in photovoltaic capacity. The reduced profitability of peak/off-peak arbitrage forces hydropower producers to recover part of their original profitability on the reserve markets. We propose a bi-layer stochastic programming framework for the optimal operation … Read more

Optimal Hospital Care Scheduling During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen dramatic demand surges for hospital care that have placed a severe strain on health systems worldwide. As a result, policy makers are faced with the challenge of managing scarce hospital capacity so as to reduce the backlog of non-COVID patients whilst maintaining the ability to respond to any potential future … Read more

A Reformulation-Linearization Technique for Optimization over Simplices

We study non-convex optimization problems over simplices. We show that for a large class of objective functions, the convex approximation obtained from the Reformulation-Linearization Technique (RLT) admits optimal solutions that exhibit a sparsity pattern. This characteristic of the optimal solutions allows us to conclude that (i) a linear matrix inequality constraint, which is often added … Read more

Randomized Assortment Optimization

When a firm selects an assortment of products to offer to customers, it uses a choice model to anticipate their probability of purchasing each product. In practice, the estimation of these models is subject to statistical errors, which may lead to significantly suboptimal assortment decisions. Recent work has addressed this issue using robust optimization, where … Read more