Branch-and-Bound versus Lift-and-Project Relaxations in Combinatorial Optimization

In this paper, we consider a theoretical framework for comparing branch-and-bound with classical lift-and-project hierarchies. We simplify our analysis of streamlining the definition of branch-and-bound. We introduce “skewed $k$-trees” which give a hierarchy of relaxations that is incomparable to that of Sherali-Adams, and we show that it is much better for some instances. We also … Read more

A Short Proof of Tight Bounds on the Smallest Support Size of Integer Solutions to Linear Equations

\(\) In this note, we study the size of the support of solutions to linear Diophantine equations $Ax=b, ~x\in\Z^n$ where $A\in\Z^{m\times n}, b\in\Z^n$. We give an asymptotically tight upper bound on the smallest support size, parameterized by $\|A\|_\infty$ and $m$, and taken as a worst case over all $b$ such that the above system has … Read more

A Theoretical and Computational Analysis of Full Strong-Branching

Full strong-branching (henceforth referred to as strong-branching) is a well-known variable selection rule that is known experimentally to produce significantly smaller branch-and-bound trees in comparison to all other known variable selection rules. In this paper, we attempt an analysis of the performance of the strong-branching rule both from a theoretical and a computational perspective. On … Read more

On Polytopes with Linear Rank with respect to Generalizations of the Split Closure

In this paper we study the rank of polytopes contained in the 0-1 cube with respect to $t$-branch split cuts and $t$-dimensional lattice cuts for a fixed positive integer $t$. These inequalities are the same as split cuts when $t=1$ and generalize split cuts when $t > 1$. For polytopes contained in the $n$-dimensional 0-1 … Read more

Lower Bounds on the Size of General Branch-and-Bound Trees

A \emph{general branch-and-bound tree} is a branch-and-bound tree which is allowed to use general disjunctions of the form $\pi^{\top} x \leq \pi_0 \,\vee\, \pi^{\top}x \geq \pi_0 + 1$, where $\pi$ is an integer vector and $\pi_0$ is an integer scalar, to create child nodes. We construct a packing instance, a set covering instance, and a … Read more

Branch-and-Bound Solves Random Binary IPs in Polytime

Branch-and-bound is the workhorse of all state-of-the-art mixed integer linear programming (MILP) solvers. These implementations of branch-and-bound typically use variable branching, that is, the child nodes are obtained by fixing some variable to an integer value v in one node and to v + 1 in the other node. Even though modern MILP solvers are … Read more