Revisiting local branching with a machine learning lens

Finding high-quality solutions to mixed-integer linear programming problems (MILPs) is of great importance for many practical applications. In this respect, the refinement heuristic local branching (LB) has been proposed to produce improving solutions and has been highly influential for the development of local search methods in MILP. The algorithm iteratively explores a sequence of solution … Read more

Learning to Use Local Cuts

An essential component in modern solvers for mixed-integer (linear) programs (MIPs) is the separation of additional inequalities (cutting planes) to tighten the linear programming relaxation. Various algorithmic decisions are necessary when integrating cutting plane methods into a branch-and-bound (B&B) solver as there is always the trade-off between the efficiency of the cuts and their costs, … Read more

PyEPO: A PyTorch-based End-to-End Predict-then-Optimize Library for Linear and Integer Programming

In deterministic optimization, it is typically assumed that all parameters of the problem are fixed and known. In practice, however, some parameters may be a priori unknown but can be estimated from historical data. A typical predict-then-optimize approach separates predictions and optimization into two stages. Recently, end-to-end predict-then-optimize has become an attractive alternative. In this … Read more

Learning for Spatial Branching: An Algorithm Selection Approach

The use of machine learning techniques to improve the performance of branch-and-bound optimization algorithms is a very active area in the context of mixed integer linear problems, but little has been done for non-linear optimization. To bridge this gap, we develop a learning framework for spatial branching and show its efficacy in the context of … Read more

A line search based proximal stochastic gradient algorithm with dynamical variance reduction

Many optimization problems arising from machine learning applications can be cast as the minimization of the sum of two functions: the first one typically represents the expected risk, and in practice it is replaced by the empirical risk, and the other one imposes a priori information on the solution. Since in general the first term … Read more

Shattering Inequalities for Learning Optimal Decision Trees

Recently, mixed-integer programming (MIP) techniques have been applied to learn optimal decision trees. Empirical research has shown that optimal trees typically have better out-of-sample performance than heuristic approaches such as CART. However, the underlying MIP formulations often suffer from slow runtimes, due to weak linear programming (LP) relaxations. In this paper, we first propose a … 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

A Prescriptive Machine Learning Method for Courier Scheduling on Crowdsourced Delivery Platforms

Crowdsourced delivery platforms face the unique challenge of meeting dynamic customer demand using couriers not employed by the platform. As a result, the delivery capacity of the platform is uncertain. To reduce the uncertainty, the platform can offer a reward to couriers that agree to be available to make deliveries for a specified period of … 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

Bilevel stochastic methods for optimization and machine learning: Bilevel stochastic descent and DARTS

Two-level stochastic optimization formulations have become instrumental in a number of machine learning contexts such as neural architecture search, continual learning, adversarial learning, and hyperparameter tuning. Practical stochastic bilevel optimization problems become challenging in optimization or learning scenarios where the number of variables is high or there are constraints. The goal of this paper is … Read more