1 Chapter 2 Solving Linear Programs Companion slides of Applied Mathematical Programming by Bradley, Hax, and Magnanti (Addison-Wesley, 1977) prepared by José Fernando Oliveira Maria Antónia Carravilla
2 A systematic procedure for solving linear programs the simplex method Proceeds by moving from one feasible solution to another, at each step improving the value of the objective function. Terminates after a finite number of such transitions. Two important characteristics of the simplex method: The method is robust. It solves any linear program; it detects redundant constraints in the problem formulation; it identifies instances when the objective value is unbounded over the feasible region; and It solves problems with one or more optimal solutions. The method is also self-initiating. It uses itself either to generate an appropriate feasible solution, as required, to start the method, or to show that the problem has no feasible solution. The simplex method provides much more than just optimal solutions. it indicates how the optimal solution varies as a function of the problem data (cost coefficients, constraint coefficients, and righthand-side data). information intimately related to a linear program called the dual to the given problem: the simplex method automatically solves this dual problem along with the given problem.
3 SIMPLEX METHOD A PREVIEW
4 The canonical form Any linear programming problem can be transformed so that it is in canonical form! (1) (2) 1. All decision variables are constrained to be nonnegative. 2. All constraints, except for the nonnegativity of decision variables, are stated as equalities. 3. The righthand-side coefficients are all nonnegative. 4. One decision variable is isolated in each constraint with a +1 coefficient (x1 in constraint (1) and x2 in constraint (2)). The variable isolated in a given constraint does not appear in any other constraint, and appears with a zero coefficient in the objective function.
5 Discussion Given any values for x3 and x4, the values of x1 and x2 are determined uniquely by the equalities. In fact, setting x3 = x4 = 0 immediately gives a feasible solution with x1 = 6 and x2 = 4. Solutions such as these will play a central role in the simplex method and are referred to as basic feasible solutions. In general, given a canonical form for any linear program, a basic feasible solution is given by setting the variable isolated in constraint j, called the j th basic-variable, equal to the righthand side of the j th constraint and by setting the remaining variables, called nonbasic, all to zero. Collectively the basic variables are termed a basis.
6 Discussion In the example above, the basic feasible solution x1 = 6, x2 = 4, x3 = 0, x4 = 0, is optimal. For any other feasible solution, x3 and x4 must remain nonnegative. Since their coefficients in the objective function are negative, if either x3 or x4 is positive, z will be less than 20. Thus the maximum value for z is obtained when x3 = x4 = 0.
7 Optimality Criterion Suppose that, in a maximization problem, every nonbasic variable has a nonpositive coefficient in the objective function of a canonical form. Then the basic feasible solution given by the canonical form maximizes the objective function over the feasible region.
8 Unbounded Objective Value (1) (2) Since x3 now has a positive coefficient in the objective function, it appears promising to increase the value of x3 as much as possible. Let us maintain x4 = 0, increase x3 to a value t to be determined, and update x1 and x2 to preserve feasibility.
9 Discussion No matter how large t becomes, x1 and x2 remain nonnegative. In fact, as t approaches +, z approaches +. In this case, the objective function is unbounded over the feasible region.
10 Unboundedness Criterion Suppose that, in a maximization problem, some nonbasic variable has a positive coefficient in the objective function of a canonical form. If that variable has negative or zero coefficients in all constraints, then the objective function is unbounded from above over the feasible region.
11 Improving a Nonoptimal Solution As x4 increases, z increases. Maintaining x3 = 0, let us increase x4 to a value t, and update x1 and x2 to preserve feasibility.
12 Discussion If x1 and x2 are to remain nonnegative, we require: and Therefore, the largest value for t that maintains a feasible solution is t = 1. When t = 1, the new solution becomes x1 = 3, x2 = 0, x3 = 0, x4 = 1, which has an associated value of z = 21 in the objective function.
13 Discussion Note that, in the new solution, x4 has a positive value and x2 has become zero. Since nonbasic variables have been given zero values before, it appears that x4 has replaced x2 as a basic variable. In fact, it is fairly simple to manipulate Eqs. (1) and (2) algebraically to produce a new canonical form, where x1 and x4 become the basic variables.
14 Discussion If x4 is to become a basic variable, it should appear with coefficient +1 in Eq. (2), and with zero coefficients in Eq. (1) and in the objective function. To obtain a +1 coefficient in Eq. (2), we divide that equation by 4. (1) (2)
15 Discussion To eliminate x4 from the first constraint, we may multiply Eq. (2 ) by 3 and subtract it from constraint (1). (1) (2 ) We may rearrange the objective function and write it as: and use the same technique to eliminate x4; that is, multiply (20) by 1 and add to Eq. (1):
16 The new global system becomes Now the problem is in canonical form with x1 and x4 as basic variables, and z has increased from 20 to 21. Consequently, we are in a position to reapply the arguments of this section, beginning with this improved solution. However, in this case, the new canonical form satisfies the optimality criterion since all nonbasic variables have nonpositive coefficients in the objective function, and thus the basic feasible solution x1 = 3, x2 = 0, x3 = 0, x4 = 1, is optimal.
17 Improvement Criterion Suppose that, in a maximization problem, some nonbasic variable has a positive coefficient in the objective function of a canonical form. If that variable has a positive coefficient in some constraint, then a new basic feasible solution may be obtained by pivoting.
18 Discussion Recall that we chose the constraint to pivot in (and consequently the variable to drop from the basis) by determining which basic variable first goes to zero as we increase the nonbasic variable x4. The constraint is selected by taking the ratio of the righthand-side coefficients to the coefficients of x4 in the constraints, i.e., by performing the ratio test:
19 Discussion Note, however, that if the coefficient of x4 in the second constraint were 4 instead of +4, the values for x1 and x2 would be given by: so that as x4 = t increases from 0, x2 never becomes zero. In this case, we would increase x4 to t = 6/3 = 2. This observation applies in general for any number of constraints, so that we need never compute ratios for nonpositive coefficients of the variable that is coming into the basis.
20 Ratio and Pivoting Criterion When improving a given canonical form by introducing variable xs into the basis, pivot in a constraint that gives the minimum ratio of righthand-side coefficient to corresponding xs coefficient. Compute these ratios only for constraints that have a positive coefficient for xs.
21 REDUCTION TO CANONICAL FORM PART 1
22 Reduction to Canonical Form To this point we have been solving linear programs posed in canonical form with (1) nonnegative variables, (2) equality constraints, (3) nonnegative righthand-side coefficients, and (4) one basic variable isolated in each constraint. We will now show how to transform any linear program to this canonical form.
23 Inequality constraints Introduce two new nonnegative variables: x5 measures the amount that the consuption of resource falls short of the maximum available, and is called a slack variable; x6 is the amount of product in excess of the minimum requirement and is called a surplus variable.
24 SIMPLEX METHOD A SIMPLE EXAMPLE
25 A simple example The owner of a shop producing automobile trailers wishes to determine the best mix for his three products: flat-bed trailers, economy trailers, and luxury trailers. His shop is limited to working 24 days/month on metalworking and 60 days/month on woodworking for these products. The following table indicates production data for the trailers.
26 LP Model
27 Canonical form
30 Minimization problems Enters the basis the nonbasic variable that has a negative coefficient in the objective function of a canonical form. The solution is optimal when every nonbasic variable has a nonnegative coefficient in the objective function of a canonical form.
31 Formal procedure These steps apply to either the phase I or phase II problem.
32 STEP (4) Pivoting
33 STEP (4) Pivoting
34 REDUCTION TO CANONICAL FORM PART 2
35 Reduction to Canonical Form To this point we have been solving linear programs posed in canonical form with (1) nonnegative variables, (2) equality constraints, (3) nonnegative righthand-side coefficients, and (4) one basic variable isolated in each constraint. We will now show how to transform any linear program to this canonical form.
36 Free variables Production x t must be nonnegative. However, inventory I t may be positive or negative, indicating either that there is a surplus of goods to be stored or that there is a shortage of goods and some must be produced later. To formulate models with free variables, we introduce two nonnegative variables I t + and I t, and write, as a substitute for I t everywhere in the model:
37 Artificial variables To obtain a canonical form, we must make sure that, in each constraint, one basic variable can be isolated with a +1 coefficient. Some constraints already will have this form (for example, slack variables have always this property). When there are no volunteers to be basic variables we have to resort to artificial variables.
38 Artificial variables Add a new (completely fictitious) variable to any equation that requires one: new nonnegative basic variable Any solution with x7 = 0 is feasible for the original problem, but those with x7 > 0 are not feasible. Consequently, we should attempt to drive the artificial variable to zero.
39 Driving an artificial variable to zero the big M method In a minimization problem, this can be accomplished by attaching a high unit cost M (>0) to x7 in the objective function For maximization, add the penalty M x7 to the objective function). For M sufficiently large, x7 will be zero in the final linear programming solution, so that the solution satisfies the original problem constraint without the artificial variable. If x7 > 0 in the final tableau, then there is no solution to the original problem where the artificial variables have been removed; that is, we have shown that the problem is infeasible. artificial variables slack variables
40 Driving an artificial variable to zero the phase I phase II procedure Phase I determines a canonical form for the problem by solving a linear program related to the original problem formulation. New objective function minimizing the sum of the artificial variables. The second phase starts with this canonical form to solve the original problem.
41 The phase I phase II procedure Slack variables added Any feasible solution to the augmented system with all artificial variables equal to zero provides a feasible solution to the original problem. Since the artificial variables x9, x10, and x11 are all nonnegative, they are all zero only when their sum x9 + x10 + x11 is zero. Consequently, the artificial variables can be eliminated by ignoring the original objective function for the time being and minimizing x9 + x10 + x11 (i.e., minimizing the sum of all artificial variables).
42 The phase I phase II procedure If the minimum sum is 0, then the artificial variables are all zero and a feasible, but not necessarily optimal, solution to the original problem has been obtained. If the minimum is greater than zero, then every solution to the augmented system has x9 + x10 + x11 > 0, so that some artificial variable is still positive. In this case, the original problem has no feasible solution.
43 Phase 1 model The artificial variables have zero coefficients in the phase I objective: they are basic variables. Note that the initial coefficients for the nonartificial variable xj in the w equation is the sum of the coefficients of xj from the equations with an artificial variable.
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