# A goal programming approach for solving random interval linear programming problem

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1 A goal programming approach for solving random interval linear programming problem Ziba ARJMANDZADEH, Mohammadreza SAFI 1 1,2 Department of Mathematics, Semnan University Abstract: This paper presents a goal programming model for solving linear programming problem involving random interval coefficients. In this model, a random interval with known characters is considered as the aspiration level (target) of the objective function. The original problem involving random interval parameters is transformed into a bi-objective equivalent problem using the proposed model. Defining an auxiliary variable, an approach for solving the bi-objective problem is presented. Two numerical examples are carried out to show the efficiency of the proposed model. Keywords: Random interval parameters, Goal programming model, Satisfactory solution, Random interval programming, Mean value. 1. Introduction Theory of probability is an important tool for describing the complexity of uncertain parameters. It has been applied in such different fields as economy [8], stochastic geometry [16] or dealing with imprecise information [3]. Moreover, some basic works about uncertain random variables have been done by Zutong Wang et al. [19] and Mingfa Zheng et al. [20], too. The concept of satisfactory solution for stochastic problems are based on transforming the stochastic objectives by using some statistical features such as variance, expected value, quantiles, etc. The obtained function which can be replaced by the origin stochastic objective is called the deterministic equivalent function. There are many approaches in the literature which can be used for solving stochastic programming problems [10, 18]. One of the most popular approach for solving multi-objective stochastic programming, is goal programming (GP) model that is presented by Contini [2]. In his study, he first specified random variables with an arbitrary known distribution as the targets of stochastic objectives, then minimizing the deviation of the objectives from their targets, he obtained a satisfactory solution. Of course a significant weakness is the solution(s) of a GP model is not necessarily a Pareto optimal solution. However, the GP approach gives a solution to a multiobjective problem with a given level of satisfaction. 1 Corresponding Author

2 2 Sometimes, random data cannot be measured exactly and each value of random variable is expressed as an interval. In other words, there are so many probability events which can just be measured, approximately. This kind of variable which simultaneously involves properties of random variables and intervals is called random interval variable. However, there are so many random interval phenomena that we have no information about the probability of different values within intervals. In such case, we face to a set of interval data that generated by a random process. These data can be treated as samples from the interval-valued random variable. Some studies about random intervals in statistics, engineering and optimization problems exist in literature, see [1, 3, 4, 14]. Moreover, some basic studies about the main characters of random intervals such as the range of the expected value, variance, covariance, and correlation coefficient have been done in the literature [5, 6, 7, 11, 12]. In this study, we propose a GP model for solving random interval linear programming (RILP) problems. In the presented model, we consider a random interval with known characters as the target of the objective function. The aim of this model is to get a solution which the deviation of objective function from the target as much as possible. Considering the concept of the mean value, this deviation will be obtained as an interval. However, the problem of minimizing the interval function is not well defined, because the inequality relation between intervals is not a total order. Thus, the meaning of minimizing the interval objective should be defined. In this paper, we adopt a definition based on its end points. Applying this method, the original problem will be transformed into a bi-objective problem. Solving the final problem by the minmax method, a satisfactory optimal solution is obtained. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In section 2, some definition and basic theorems about intervals are recalled. In section 3, the random interval programming problem is introduced. Moreover, we present a GP model for solving RILP problems. Finally, two numerical examples are proposed to show that our method works successfully. In the final section, we present some concluding comments and feature works. 2. Preliminaries In this section, we recall some basic concepts of interval arithmetic which are used for dealing with problems involving interval parameters Interval Variables. Definition 2.1. An interval is defined by an ordered pair of brackets as a = [a L, a R ] = {a : a L a a R, a R}, where a L and a R are the left and right limits of a, respectively. The center (midpoint) and the radius of an interval a are defined respectively as a C := 1 2 (ar + a L ), a W := 1 2 (ar a L ).

3 Definition 2.2. Another representation of interval a is defined by its center point a C and half width length (or radius) a W as follows: a =< a C, a W >= {a : a C a W a a C + a W, a R}. Definition 2.3. Let {+,,., } be a binary operation on R. If a and b are arbitrary closed intervals, then 3 a b = {a b : a a, b b}. In the case of division, it is supposed that 0 / b. Let a and b be two intervals and K R be a constant. From Definition (2.1) and (2.2) it can be explicitly shown that: a + b = [a L, a R ] + [b L, b R ] = [a L + b L, a R + b R ], (2.1) { Ka = K[a L, a R ] = [Ka L, Ka R ] if K 0, Ka = K[a L, a R ] = [Ka R, Ka L ] if K < 0, (2.2) a b = [a L, a R ] [b L, b R ] = [a L b R, a R b L ], (2.3) Ka = K < a C, a W >=< Ka C, K a W >. (2.4) The possibly extended maximum of a and b is derived as a b = [a L b L, a R b R ]. (2.5) The absolute value of a is defined as [a L, a R ], a L 0, a = [0, ( a L ) a R ], a L < 0 < a R, [ a R, a L ], a R 0, where a b = max(a, b). (2.6) 3. Random Interval Linear Programming In what follows, we first recall the concepts of random interval variables and random interval data, then we present our GP model for solving RILP problems. Generally, a random interval variable is a measurable function from a probability space to a collection of closed intervals. In other words, a random interval variable is a random variable taking interval values. The following definition can be used for describing random interval variables. Definition 3.1. ([17]). Given a probability space (Ω, A, P ), a(ω) = [a L (ω), a R (ω)] is a random interval defined in Ω, if a L (ω), a R (ω) are random variables, and for any

4 4 ω Ω, a L (ω) a R (ω). In other words, if (Ω, A, P ) be a probability space where Ω = {ω 1, ω 2,..., ω m }, then the function µ 1, if ω = ω 1 µ 2, if ω = ω 2 ξ(ω) =,. µ m, if ω = ω m where µ 1, µ 2,..., µ m are intervals, is a random interval variable. Example 3.2. Suppose X(ω) is a random variable defined on Ω and a is a positive number then I(ω) = [ X(ω) a, X(ω) + a ] is a random interval with random center X(ω) and (deterministic) width 2a. More generally, if Y (ω) 0 be a random variable, then the random interval I(ω) = [ X(ω) Y (ω), X(ω)+Y (ω) ] has random center X(ω) and random width 2Y (ω). In real world problems, statistical data are often expressed as a set of interval data which are generated by a random process. An important difference between a set of random interval data and a random interval variable is that each element of a set of random interval data has probability one, while for random interval variables, a probability distribution function is defined whose amount for each element is a real number is expressed as 0 p 1. In fact, the set of random interval data can be treated as samples from the interval-valued random variable. In such cases, instead of the exact value of the sample statistics such as mean, variance, covariance, etc, we can only have an interval of them. An important character for estimating the mean value of random interval data is defined as follows: Definition 3.3. Let X = {x 1, x 2,..., x n } be a set of interval data that its values are generated by a random process. The mean of X is an interval which can be obtained by using straightforward interval arithmetic: M = x 1 + x x n, n Indeed, M = [ M L, M R] where M L = n( 1 ) x L 1 + x L x L n and M R = 1 ( x R n 1 + x R x R n ) A GP Model for Solving RILP Problems. In this part, we present a GP approach for solving RILP problems. In this model, we assume coefficients and the target be random intervals with known characters. The basic approach of goal programming is to specify an aspiration level for each of the objectives, and then seek a solution that s the (weighted) sum of deviations of these objective functions from their respective goals. The standard mathematical formulation of the GP model is given as follows:

5 5 p (δ + i + δ i ) i=1 f i (x) δ + i + δ i = g i (i = 1, 2,..., p), x S, δ + i, δ i 0 (i = 1, 2,..., p), where δ i and δ + i are the positive and the negative deviations with respect to the targets g i, respectively. The GP approach for solving multi-objective linear programing problems with interval coefficients has been investigated by Inuguichi et al. [9]. In this model, they specified an interval as the target of each objective function. Minimizing the sum of (the weighted sum) deviations of objective functions from their targets under the constraints of the original problem, they obtained an optimal solution. The GP model for solving multi-objective stochastic programming problems was proposed by Contini [2]. In his study, he specified random variables with an arbitrary known distribution as the targets of random objectives, then via the concepts of the expected value and variance, he solved his GP model. Consider the following form of RILP problem: subject to : z(x) = cx x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0}, (3.1) where x is an n-dimensional decision variable column vector, A and b are m n matrix and m-dimensional column vector, respectively. Moreover, c = ( c 1, c 2,..., c n ) is a vector of random interval data. It is obvious that Problem (3.1) is not well-defined due to randomness and intervalness of the coefficients involved in the objective function. In this situation, we cannot optimize the problem likewise deterministic cases. Problem (3.1) can be regarded as a kind of stochastic programming problems. In order to handle such stochastic programming problems, there are several decision making models such as the variance minimization model, the expectation optimization model, the fractile optimization model and the probability maximization model [10, 18]. We use an extension of the expected value model and replace the objective function by its mean [18]. Hence, Problem (3.1) will be transformed into the following problem: E[z(x)] = E[ cx] x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0}, (3.2) where E[ cx] denotes the mean of cx. According to Definition (3.3), problem (3.2) will be transformed into the following problem:

6 6 E [ z(x) ] = [ E( c L )x, E( c R )x ] x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0}, (3.3) where E( c L ) = (E( c L 1 ), E( c L 2 ),..., E( c L n)) and E( c R ) = (E( c R 1 ), E( c R 2 ),..., E( c R n )) are two vectors of mean of random data. Consider now the random interval T = [ T L, T R], T R > T L, with the mean E( T) = [ E( T L ), E( T R ) ] as the target of the objective function. Obviously, both of [ E( c L )x, E( c R )x ] and E( T ) are intervals. According to relation (2.3), the deviation ( subtraction of [ E( c L )x, E( c R )x ] from E ( T )) is an interval. This subtraction can be written as D(x) = E( T) E( c)x = [ E( T L ) E( c R )x, E( T R ) E( c L )x ]. From relation (2.6), the following three cases may be happened for D(x): D(x) = [ E ( T L ) E ( c R) x, E ( T R ) E ( c L) x ], if E ( T L ) E ( c R) x 0, [ 0, ( E ( c R ) x E ( T L )) ( E ( T R ) E ( c L) x )], if E ( T L ) E ( c R) x < 0 < E ( T R ) E ( c L) x, [ E ( c L ) x E ( T R ), E ( c R) x E ( T L )], if E ( T R ) E ( c L) x 0. Using deviational variables d L, d L+, d R and d R+, we define the following relations: E ( c R) x + d L d L+ = E ( L T ), (3.4) E ( c L) x + d R d R+ = E ( R T ), (3.5) d L d L+ = 0, d R d R+ = 0. (3.6) So, the difference E( T) E( c)x is represented as E( T) E( c)x = [ d L d L+, d R d R+]. (3.7) Now we consider a representation of D(x) via deviational variables d L, d L+, d R and d R+. The following three cases are possible:

7 (i) d L = 0 and d R = 0. Then (ii) d L = 0 and d R+ = 0. Then (iii) d L+ = 0 and d R+ = 0. Then D(x) = [ d R+, d L+]. (3.8) D(x) = [ 0, d L+ d R ]. (3.9) D(x) = [ d L, d R ]. (3.10) Note that the case d L+ = 0 and d R = 0 cannot be happened, because if we consider d L+ = 0 and d R = 0, then deviation D(x) will be obtained as [ d L, d R+] which is not an interval. It is clear that d L d R+ = 0 because if we consider d L > 0 and d R+ > 0, then we have E ( c R) x < E ( T L ) and E ( c L) x > E ( T R ) which contradict with E ( c R) x > E ( c L) x and E ( T R ) > E ( T L ). So, deviation D(x) is obtained as D(x) = [ d L + d R+, d L+ d R ]. (3.11) The GP model with random interval coefficients and random interval target becomes the problem of minimizing D(x) under the constraints of problem (3.1). However, D(x) is obtained as an interval. The inequality relation between intervals is not a total order. Thus, the meaning of minimizing D(x) should be defined. In this paper, we adopt a definition based on the end points. According to this definition, we the lower and upper bound of D(x) under the constraints of original problem which gives the following bi-objective programming problem. Hence, the GP problem can be formulated as follows: {d L + d R+, d L+ d R } E ( c R) x + d L d L+ = E ( T L ), E ( c L) x + d R d R+ = E ( T R ), x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0}, d L d L+ = 0, d R d R+ = 0, d R, d R+, d L, d L (3.12) The following theorem shows that there is no need to add the constraints d L d L+ = 0 and d R d R+ = 0 to this model. Theorem 3.4. The constraints d L d L+ = 0 and d R d R+ = 0 of problem (3.12), satisfy in other constraints and can be omitted. Proof. Let ˆx, ˆd L, ˆd L+, ˆd R and ˆd R+ be a pareto optimal solution of (3.12) i.e. there does not exist another x, d L, d L+, d R and d R+ such that d L + d L+ ˆd L L+ + ˆd and d L+ d R ˆd L+ ˆd R with a strict inequality holding for at least one. Suppose ˆd L ˆd L+ 0. We consider d L 0 0 and d L+ 0 0 such that d L 0 d L+ 0 = 0 and ˆd L ˆd L+ = d L 0 d L+ 0. Obviously, d L 0 and d L+ 0 satisfy in the constraints of (3.12)

8 8 and relations ˆd L > d L 0 and ˆd L+ > d L+ 0 hold, because for d L 0 d L+ 0 = 0 two cases are possible: 1- if d L+ 0 = 0 and d L 0 > 0, then ˆd L ˆd L+ = d L 0 d L+ 0 = d L 0, in addition we have ˆd L, ˆd L+ > 0, hence relation ˆd L > d L 0 is satisfied. 2-if d L 0 = 0 and d L+ 0 > 0, then ˆd L ˆd L+ = d L 0 d L+ 0 = d L+ 0, and we have ˆd L, ˆd L+ > 0, hence relation ˆd L+ > d L+ 0 is satisfied. According to these facts, the following relations ˆd L + ˆd R+ > d L 0 + ˆd R+, ˆd L+ ˆd R d L+ 0 ˆd R, obviously are satisfied. This contradicts the pareto optimality of ˆx and ˆd L, ˆd L+, and ˆd R+. Hence, ˆd L ˆd L+ = 0. ˆd R In the case d R d R+ = 0, we can prove in the same manner. In order to obtain a pareto optimal solution of bi-objective problem (3.12), we should transform it into a single-objective programming problem. There are many approaches which can be used for solving bi-objectives programming problems. One of the most popular is the minmax method. In this method, we an auxiliary variable which is the upper bound of two objectives. Therefore, problem (3.12) is converted to the following equivalent problem: λ E ( c R) x + d L d L+ = E ( T L ), E ( c L) x + d R d R+ = E ( T R ), x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0}, d L + d R+ λ, d L+ d R λ, d R, d R+, d L, d L+, λ 0. (3.13) Instead of the constraint d L+ d R λ of problem (3.13), we can use its equivalent convex constraints. So problem (3.13) will be converted into the following convex programming problem:

9 9 λ E ( c R) x + d L d L+ = E ( L T ), E ( c L) x + d R d R+ = E ( R T ), x S = {x R n : Ax b, x 0, }, d L + d R+ υ 1, d L+ λ, d R λ, d R, d R+, d L, d L+, λ 0. (3.14) Problem (3.14) is a deterministic equivalent linear programming problem of (3.1) and can be solved by convex techniques. Moreover, the optimal solution(s) of (3.14) is a satisfactory solution of (3.1). Example 3.5. Consider the random interval linear programming problem defined as z(x) = cx a 1 x b 1, a 2 x b 2, x 0. (3.15) where x = (x 1, x 2, x 3, x 4 ) T is the decision variable vector and (b 1, b 2 ) = (27, 25) is a crisp vector. The coefficient vectors a i, i = 1, 2 are given at Table 1. a a Table 1. The coefficient vectors a i The coefficients c L and c R are two vectors of random data with the means (6, 1, 2, 3) T and (7, 4, 6, 5) T, respectively. Considering the random interval T = [ T L, T R ] with E[ T L, T R ] = [33, 43] as the target of the objective function, we have: subject to : λ 6x 1 + x 2 + 2x 3 + 3x 4 + d L d L+ = 43, 7x 1 + 4x 2 + 6x 3 + 5x 4 + d R d R+ = 33, 7x 1 + 3x 2 + 4x 3 + 6x 4 27, 5x 1 + 6x 2 + 7x 3 + 9x 4 25, d L + d R+ λ, d R λ, d L+ λ, x 1, x 2, x 3, x 4, λ 0. (3.16) Using CVX (a Matlab-based modeling system for convex optimization) to solve this problem, we obtain the following satisfactory solution:

10 10 x = ( ( ) x 1, x 2, x 3, x4) = , , , , d L+ = , d L = , d R+ = , d R = , λ = The optimal solution of problem (3.16) is a satisfactory solution for problem (3.15). This solution is obtained by minimizing the upper and lower bound of deviation under the constraints of original problem. Indeed, we used the end points to obtain the optimal solution. This definition is based on order relation LR. There are some other orders which are defined in the literature and can be used instead of order LR [15]. So, the solution of this problem is depending on how we treat the interval objective function of problem, i.e. which order we choose. Example 3.6. Consider the random interval linear programming problem defined as subject to : z(x) = cx a 1 x b 1, a 2 x b 2, x 0. (3.17) where x = ( ) T ( ) ( ) x 1, x 2, x 3 is the decision variable vector and b1, b 2 = 28, 35 is a crisp vector. The coefficient vectors a i, i = 1, 2 are given at Table 2. a a Table 2. The coefficient vectors a i The coefficient vectors c L and c R are two vectors of random data with the means (1, 2, 4) T and (4, 3, 7) T, respectively. Considering the random interval T = [ T L, T R ] with E [ T L, T R] = [ 30, 34 ] as the target of the objective function, we have: λ x 1 + 2x 2 + 4x 3 + d L d L+ = 34, 4x 1 + 3x 2 + 7x 3 + d R d R+ = 30, 3x 1 + 8x 2 + 4x 3 28, 4x 1 + x 2 + 7x 3 35, d L + d R+ λ, d L+ λ, d R λ, x 1, x 2, x 3, λ 0. Using CVX to solve this problem, we obtain a satisfactory solution as follows: x = (x 1, x 2, x 3) = ( , , ), d L+ = , d L = , d R+ = , d R = , λ = (3.18)

11 The optimal solution of problem (3.18) is a satisfactory solution for problem (3.17) Conclusion In this presented paper, we have proposed a goal programming model for solving random interval linear programming problems. In the presented model, we first have used the mean of random interval data for transforming the original problem into an interval one. Considering a random interval as the target of the objective function, we the subtraction of the mean value of random interval function from the mean value of its target. However, this subtraction has been obtained as an interval. To transform this problem into an equivalent well defined minimization problem, we have adopted the order relation LR. Introducing an auxiliary variable, we have solved the final problem by the minmax method. Moreover, we have presented two examples and solved them by the presented method. Feature works: In addition to the mean value, there are many characters such as the variance and covariance which can be used as a transforming tool for solving random interval programming problems. Some practical problems such as transportation problem, financial problem, supply chain and multi-objective programming problem involving random interval parameters can be investigated. Moreover, in this paper we consider random interval parameters only in the objective function. In the feature works, it can be considered for the parameters in technical matrix A and the limited resources b. Moreover, it should be noted that the optimization problem involving random interval parameters can be considered as a kind of interval programming or stochastic programming problem. An extension of the methods which are used for solving these problems can be considered for solving random interval programming problems. References [1] Arjmandzadeh Z, Safi MR. A generalization of variance model for solving random interval linear programming problems. IJSS: O&L 2016; to appear. [2] Contini B. A stochastic approach to goal programming. Oper Res 1968; 16: [3] Dempster AP. Upper and lower probabilities generated by a random closed interval. Ann. of Math. Stat. 1968; 39: [4] Dubois D, Prade H. The mean value of a fuzzy number. Fuzzy Set Syst 1987; 24: [5] Ferson S, Ginzburg L, Kreinovich V, Longpré L, Aviles M. Computing Variance for Interval Data Is NP-Hard. ACM SIGACT News 2002; 33: [6] Ferson S, Ginzburg L. Exact Bounds on Finite Populations of Interval Data. Reliab Comput 2005; 11: [7] Hansen E. Sharpness in Interval Computations. Reliab Comput 1997; 3: [8] Hildenbrand W. Core and Equilibria of a Large Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974.

12 12 [9] Inuiguchi M, Kume Y. Goal programming problems with interval coefficients and target intervals. Eur J Oper Res 1991; 52: [10] Kall P, Mayer J. Stochastic Linear Programming: Models, Theory, and Computation. Springer, [11] Kearfott RB. Rigorous Global Search: Continuous Problems. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, [12] Kreinovich V, Nguyen HT, Wu B. On-Line Algorithms for Computing Mean and Variance of Interval Data, and Their Use in Intelligent Systems. Inform Sciences 2007; 177: [13] Kruse R, Meyer KD. Statistics with vague data. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company, [14] Lu HW, Cao MF, Li J, Huang GH, He L. An Inexact Programming Approach for Urban Electric Power Systems Management under Random-Interval-Parameter Uncertainty. Appl Math Model 2014; 39: [15] Mahato SK, Bhunia AK. Interval-Arithmetic-Oriented Interval Computing Technique for Global Optimization. Appl Math Res Express 2006; 2006: [16] Mathéron G. Random Sets and Integral Geometry. NewYork, USA: Wiley, [17] Miranda E, Couso I, Gil P. Random intervals as a model for imprecise information. Fuzzy Set Syst 2005; 154: [18] Sakawa M, Nishizaki I, Katagiri H. Fuzzy Stochastic Multi-objective Programming. New York: Springer, (2011). [19] Wang Z, Taheri SM, Zheng M, Zhang P. Efficient Solutions for Uncertain Random Multiobjective Programming Problem. JUS 2014; 8: [20] Zheng M, Yi Y, Wang Z, Yan L. Uncertain Random Approach to Multiobjective Programming Problem Based on Chance Theory. JUS 2014; 8:

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