An effective version of Schmüdgen’s Positivstellensatz for the hypercube

Let S be a compact semialgebraic set and let f be a polynomial nonnegative on S. Schmüdgen’s Positivstellensatz then states that for any \eta>0, the nonnegativity of f+\eta on S can be certified by expressing f+\eta as a conic combination of products of the polynomials that occur in the inequalities defining S, where the coefficients … Read more

Complexity Aspects of Fundamental Questions in Polynomial Optimization

In this thesis, we settle the computational complexity of some fundamental questions in polynomial optimization. These include the questions of (i) finding a local minimum, (ii) testing local minimality of a candidate point, and (iii) deciding attainment of the optimal value. Our results characterize the complexity of these three questions for all degrees of the … Read more

Complexity Aspects of Local Minima and Related Notions

We consider the notions of (i) critical points, (ii) second-order points, (iii) local minima, and (iv) strict local minima for multivariate polynomials. For each type of point, and as a function of the degree of the polynomial, we study the complexity of deciding (1) if a given point is of that type, and (2) if … Read more

Shape-Constrained Regression using Sum of Squares Polynomials

We consider the problem of fitting a polynomial function to a set of data points, each data point consisting of a feature vector and a response variable. In contrast to standard polynomial regression, we require that the polynomial regressor satisfy shape constraints, such as monotonicity, Lipschitz-continuity, or convexity. We show how to use semidefinite programming … Read more

Distributionally robust optimization with polynomial densities: theory, models and algorithms

In distributionally robust optimization the probability distribution of the uncertain problem parameters is itself uncertain, and a fictitious adversary, e.g., nature, chooses the worst distribution from within a known ambiguity set. A common shortcoming of most existing distributionally robust optimization models is that their ambiguity sets contain pathological discrete distribution that give nature too much … Read more

Polynomial Norms

In this paper, we study polynomial norms, i.e. norms that are the dth root of a degree-d homogeneous polynomial f. We first show that a necessary and sufficient condition for f^(1/d) to be a norm is for f to be strictly convex, or equivalently, convex and positive definite. Though not all norms come from dth … Read more

SOSTOOLS: Sum of Squares Optimization Toolbox for MATLAB — User’s Guide

SOSTOOLS is a free MATLAB toolbox for formulating and solving sum of squares (SOS) optimization programs. It uses a simple notation and a flexible and intuitive high-level user interface to specify the SOS programs. Currently these are solved using SeDuMi, a well-known semidefinite programming solver, while SOSTOOLS handles internally all the necessary reformulations and data … Read more