# Branch and Bound Methods

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1 Branch and Bound Methods basic ideas and attributes unconstrained nonconvex optimization mixed convex-boolean optimization Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University

2 Methods for nonconvex optimization problems convex optimization methods are (roughly) always global, always fast for general nonconvex problems, we have to give up one local optimization methods are fast, but need not find global solution (and even when they do, cannot certify it) global optimization methods find global solution (and certify it), but are not always fast (indeed, are often slow) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 1

3 Branch and bound algorithms methods for global optimization for nonconvex problems nonheuristic maintain provable lower and upper bounds on global objective value terminate with certificate proving ǫ-suboptimality often slow; exponential worst case performance but (with luck) can (sometimes) work well Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 2

4 Basic idea rely on two subroutines that (efficiently) compute a lower and an upper bound on the optimal value over a given region upper bound can be found by choosing any point in the region, or by a local optimization method lower bound can be found from convex relaxation, duality, Lipschitz or other bounds,... basic idea: partition feasible set into convex sets, and find lower/upper bounds for each form global lower and upper bounds; quit if close enough else, refine partition and repeat Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 3

5 Unconstrained nonconvex minimization goal: find global minimum of function f : R m R, over an m-dimensional rectangle Q init, to within some prescribed accuracy ǫ for any rectangle Q Q init, we define Φ min (Q) = inf x Q f(x) global optimal value is f = Φ min (Q init ) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 4

6 Lower and upper bound functions we ll use lower and upper bound functions Φ lb and Φ ub, that satisfy, for any rectangle Q Q init, Φ lb (Q) Φ min (Q) Φ ub (Q) bounds must become tight as rectangles shrink: ǫ > 0 δ > 0 Q Q init, size(q) δ = Φ ub (Q) Φ lb (Q) ǫ where size(q) is diameter (length of longest edge of Q) to be practical, Φ ub (Q) and Φ lb (Q) should be cheap to compute Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 5

7 Branch and bound algorithm 1. compute lower and upper bounds on f set L 1 = Φ lb (Q init ) and U 1 = Φ ub (Q init ) terminate if U 1 L 1 ǫ 2. partition (split) Q init into two rectangles Q init = Q 1 Q 2 3. compute Φ lb (Q i ) and Φ ub (Q i ), i = 1, 2 4. update lower and upper bounds on f update lower bound: L 2 = min{φ lb (Q 1 ), Φ lb (Q 2 )} update upper bound: U 2 = min{φ ub (Q 1 ),Φ ub (Q 2 )} terminate if U 2 L 2 ǫ 5. refine partition, by splitting Q 1 or Q 2, and repeat steps 3 and 4 Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 6

8 can assume w.l.o.g. U i is nonincreasing, L i is nondecreasing at each step we have a partially developed binary tree; children correspond to the subrectangles formed by splitting the parent rectangle leaves give the current partition of Q init need rules for choosing, at each step which rectangle to split which edge (variable) to split where to split (what value of variable) some good rules: split rectangle with smallest lower bound, along longest edge, in half Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 7

9 Example partitioned rectangle in R 2, and associated binary tree, after 3 iterations Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 8

10 Pruning can eliminate or prune any rectangle Q in tree with Φ lb (Q) > U k every point in rectangle is worse than current upper bound hence cannot be optimal does not affect algorithm, but does reduce storage requirements can track progress of algorithm via total pruned (or unpruned) volume number of pruned (or unpruned) leaves in partition Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 9

11 Convergence analysis number of rectangles in partition L k is k (without pruning) total volume of these rectangles is vol(q init ), so min vol(q) vol(q init) Q L k k so for k large, at least one rectangle has small volume need to show that small volume implies small size this will imply that one rectangle has U L small hence U k L k is small Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 10

12 Bounding condition number condition number of rectangle Q = [l 1,u 1 ] [l n,u n ] is cond(q) = max i(u i l i ) min i (u i l i ) if we split rectangle along longest edge, we have for any rectangle in partition cond(q) max{cond(q init ),2} other rules (e.g., cycling over variables) also guarantee bound on cond(q) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 11

13 Small volume implies small size vol(q) = i ( (u i l i ) max(u i l i ) min(u i l i ) i i ) m 1 = (2 size(q))m cond(q) m 1 ( 2 size(q) cond(q) ) m and so size(q) (1/2)vol(Q) 1/m cond(q) therefore if cond(q) is bounded and vol(q) is small, size(q) is small Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 12

14 Mixed Boolean-convex problem minimize f 0 (x, z) subject to f i (x, z) 0, z j {0,1}, i = 1,...,m j = 1,...,n x R p is called continuous variable z {0,1} n is called Boolean variable f 0,...,f n are convex in x and z optimal value denoted p for each fixed z {0,1} n, reduced problem (with variable x) is convex Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 13

15 Solution methods brute force: solve convex problem for each of the 2 n possible values of z {0,1} n possible for n 15 or so, but not n 20 branch and bound in worst case, we end up solving all 2 n convex problems hope that branch and bound will actually work much better Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 14

16 convex relaxation Lower bound via convex relaxation minimize f 0 (x, z) subject to f i (x, z) 0, i = 1,...,m 0 z j 1, j = 1,...,n convex with (continuous) variables x and z, so easily solved optimal value (denoted L 1 ) is lower bound on p, optimal value of original problem L 1 can be + (which implies original problem infeasible) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 15

17 Upper bounds can find an upper bound (denoted U 1 ) on p several ways simplest method: round each relaxed Boolean variable z i to 0 or 1 more sophisticated method: round each Boolean variable, then solve the resulting convex problem in x randomized method: generate random z i {0, 1}, with Prob(z i = 1) = z i (optionally, solve for x again) take best result out of some number of samples upper bound can be + (method failed to produce a feasible point) if U 1 L 1 ǫ we can quit Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 16

18 Branching pick any index k, and form two subproblems first problem: minimize f 0 (x, z) subject to f i (x, z) 0, z j {0, 1}, z k = 0 i = 1,...,m j = 1,...,n second problem: minimize f 0 (x, z) subject to f i (x, z) 0, z j {0, 1}, z k = 1 i = 1,...,m j = 1,...,n Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 17

19 each of these is a Boolean-convex problem, with n 1 Boolean variables optimal value of original problem is the smaller of the optimal values of the two subproblems can solve convex relaxations of subproblems to obtain lower and upper bounds on optimal values Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 18

20 New bounds from subproblems let L, Ũ be lower, upper bounds for z k = 0 let L, Ū be lower, upper bounds for z k = 1 min{ L, L} L 1 can assume w.l.o.g. that min{ũ, Ū} U 1 thus, we have new bounds on p : L 2 = min{ L, L} p U 2 = min{ũ,ū} Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 19

21 Branch and bound algorithm continue to form binary tree by splitting, relaxing, calculating bounds on subproblems convergence proof is trivial: cannot go more than 2 n steps before U = L can prune nodes with L excceding current U k common strategy is to pick a node with smallest L can pick variable to split several ways least ambivalent : choose k for which z = 0 or 1, with largest Lagrange multiplier most ambivalent : choose k for which zk 1/2 is minimum Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 20

22 Small example nodes show lower and upper bounds for three-variable Boolean LP [ 0.143, ) z 1 = 0 z 1 = 1 [, ] [0.2, ] z 2 = 0 z 2 = 1 [, ] [1,1] Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 21

23 Minimum cardinality example find sparsest x satisfying linear inequalities equivalent to mixed Boolean-LP: minimize card(x) subject to Ax b minimize 1 T z subject to L i z i x i U i z i, i = 1,...,n Ax b z i {0,1}, i = 1,...,n with variables x and z and lower and upper bounds on x, L and U Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 22

24 Bounding x L i is optimal value of LP minimize x i subject to Ax b U i is optimal value of LP maximize x i subject to Ax b solve 2n LPs to get all bounds if L i > 0 or U i < 0, we can just set z i = 1 Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 23

25 Relaxation problem relaxed problem is minimize 1 T z subject to L i z i x i U i z i, i = 1,...,n Ax b 0 z i 1, i = 1,...,n (assuming L i < 0, U i > 0) equivalent to n minimize i=1 ((1/U i)(x i ) + + ( 1/L i )(x i ) ) subject to Ax b objective is asymmetric weighted l 1 -norm Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 24

26 A few more details relaxed problem is well known heuristic for finding a sparse solution, so we take card(x ) as our upper bound for lower bound, we can replace L from LP with L, since card(x) is integer valued at each iteration, split node with lowest lower bound split most ambivalent variable Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 25

27 Small example random problem with 30 variables, 100 constraints takes 8 iterations to find a point with globally minimum cardinality (19) but, takes 124 iterations to prove minimum cardinality is 19 requires 309 LP solves (including 60 to calculate lower and upper bounds on each variable) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 26

28 Algorithm progress tree after 3 iterations (top left), 5 iterations (top right), 10 iterations (bottom left), and 124 iterations (bottom right) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 27

29 Global lower and upper bounds 20 cardinality iteration upper bound lower bound ceil(lower bound) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 28

30 Portion of non-pruned sparsity patterns portion of non-pruned Boolean values iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 29

31 Number of active leaves in tree 60 number of leaves on tree iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 30

32 Larger example random problem with 50 variables, 100 constraints took 3665 iterations (1300 to find an optimal point) minimum cardinality 31 same example as used in l 1 -norm methods lecture basic l 1 -norm relaxation (1 LP) gives x with card(x) = 44 iterated weighted l 1 -norm heuristic (4 LPs) gives x with card(x) = 36 Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 31

33 Global lower and upper bounds cardinality iteration upper bound lower bound ceil(lower bound) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 32

34 Portion of non-pruned sparsity patterns portion of non-pruned Boolean values iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 33

35 Number of active leaves in tree 1600 number of leaves on tree iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 34

36 Even larger example random problem with 200 variables, 400 constraints we quit after iterations (50 hours on a single processor machine with 1 GB of RAM) only know that optimal cardinality is between 135 and 179 but have reduced number of possible sparsity patterns by factor of Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 35

37 Global lower and upper bounds cardinality iteration upper bound lower bound ceil(lower bound) Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 36

38 Portion of non-pruned sparsity patterns portion of non-pruned Boolean values iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 37

39 Number of active leaves in tree 1000 number of leaves on tree iteration Prof. S. Boyd, EE364b, Stanford University 38

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