# Linear Programming I

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1 Linear Programming I November 30, Introduction In the VCR/guns/nuclear bombs/napkins/star wars/professors/butter/mice problem, the benevolent dictator, Bigus Piguinus, of south Antarctica penguins (having 24 million penguins under its control) has to decide how to allocate his empire resources to the maximal benefits of his penguins. In particular, she has to decide how to allocate the money for the next year budget. For example, buying a nuclear bomb has a tremendous positive effect on security (the ability to destruct yourself completely together with your enemy is considered to induce a peaceful security feeling in most people). Guns on the other hand has lesser effect. Piguina (the state) has to supply a certain level of security. Thus, the allocation should be such that: x gun x nuclear bomb 1000 where x guns is the number of guns constructed, and x nuclear bomb is the number of NB constructed. On the other hand, 1000 x gun x nuclear bomb x security where x security is the total Piguina is willing to spend on security, and 1000 is the price of producing a single gun, and is the price of manufacturing one nuclear bomb. There are a lot of other constrains of this type, and Bigus Piguinus would like to solve them, while minimizing the total money allocated for such spending (the less spent on budget, the larger the tax cut). More formally, we have a large number of variables: x 1,..., x n and a large system of linear inequalities: a 11 x a 1n x n b 1 a 21 x a 2n x n b 2... a m1 x a mn x n b m 1

2 we would like to decide if there is an assignment of values to x 1,..., x n where those inequalities are satisfied. Since there might be infinite number of such solutions, we decide that we want the solution that maximizes the quantity: c 1 x c n x n. This quantity is known as the objective function of the linear program. Question: How do we compute such a solution? This is known as linear programming. 1.1 History Linear programming can be traced back to the early 19th century. It really started in 1939 when L.V. Kantorovich noticed the importance of certain type of Linear Programming problems. Unfortunately, for several years, Kantorovich work was unknown in the west and unnoticed in the east. Dantzig, in 1947, invented the simplex method for solving LP problems for the US Air force planning problems. T.C. Koopmans, in 1947, showed that LP provide the right model for the analysis of classical economic theories. In 1975, both Koopmans and Kantorovich got the Nobel prize of economics. Dantzig probably did not get it because his work was too mathematical. 2 On the geometry of the simplex algorithm Let us assume, that we have an LP, and we have a set of n variables and m constraints. Furthermore, we know a vertex of the feasible region, and we have the direction of the objective function. For example, if we are on p in the following drawing, we can improve the situation by moving to... p q...to q. In general, a vertex of a polytope is defined by n constraints (since we are in n dimensions). Every two vertices u and v that have d 1 common constraints, are adjacent in the sense that there is an edge on the boundary of the polytope that connects them. To see that, let l be the intersection of the boundaries of those d 1 constraints. Clearly, l is a line, and its intersection with the feasible region is a segment, where u and v are its 2

3 endpoints. As such, if we are at u but the vertex v has a better value for the objective function, we move our current solution there, updating the current set of constraints to reflect this. So essentially, we have a graph G which is the set of all vertices in the polytope, where two vertices are connected if they have d 1 common constraints, and we walk on this graph, all the time moving from the current vertex to one of the neighbors with a better value. In the end we will get to the global minimum. 3 The simplex algorithm 3.1 LP - All variables being positive We are given an LP: subject to Maximize c j x j j=1 a ij x j b i for i = 1, 2,..., m j=1 here any variable can have any real value. We would like to rewrite it such that every variable is non-negative. This is easy to do, by replacing a variable x i by x i x i. Namely, x i = x i x i where x i 0 and x i 0. Thus, the (trivial) LP 2x + y 5 would be replaced by Thus, we have 2x 2x + y y 5 x 0 y 0 x 0 y 0 Lemma 3.1 Given an instance I of LP, one can rewrite it into an equivalent LP, such that all the variables must be non-negative. 3

4 3.2 Standard form Maximize c j x j j=1 subject to a ij x j b i for i = 1, 2,..., m j=1 Setting c = and x = Then: c 1. c n x 1 x 2. x n 1 x n, A =. x j 0 for j = 1,..., n. a 11 a a 1(n 1) a 1n a 21 a a 2(n 1) a 2n a (m 1)1 a (m 1)2... a (m 1)(n 1) a (m 1)n a m1 a m2... a m(n 1) a mn subject to Maximize Ax b x 0 c T x In the following, we are going to do a long long sequence of rewritings. Slack Form One can rewrite an LP instance, so that every inequality becomes equality, and all variables must be positive: subject to Maximize Ax = b x 0 c T x To do that, we introduce new variables (slack variables) rewriting an inequality: a i x i b i=1 4

5 by x n+1 = b x n+1 0 a i x i i=1 In fact, now we have a special variable for each equality inequality in the LP program. This variables are special, and would be called basic variables. The variable on the right side are nonbasic variables (original isn t it?). This form, is called SLACK FORM. It is defined by the following parameters: B - Set of indices of basic variables N - Set of indices of nonbasic variables n = N - number of original variables b, c - two vectors of constants m = B - number of basic variables (i.e., number of inequalities) A - The matrix of coefficients N B = {1,..., n + m} And the slack form itself is: A tuple (N,B,A,b,c,v) Where the objective function is to maximize: z = v + c j x j j N And the constraints are: x i = b i a ij x j j N for i B, of course, all variables x i must be non-negative (i.e., x i 0). Exercise 3.2 Show that any linear program can be transformed into equivalent slack form. Example 3.3 In the slack form, we have z = 28 x 3 6 x 5 6 2x 6 3 x 1 = 8 + x x 5 6 x 6 3 x 2 = 4 8x 3 3 2x x 6 3 5

6 Here we have: x 4 = 18 x x 5 2 b = A = b 1 b 2 b 4 B = {1, 2, 4}, N = {3, 5, 6} a 13 a 15 a 16 a 23 a 25 a 26 a 43 a 45 a 46 = = c = 1/6 1/6 1/3 8/3 2/3 1/3 1/2 1/2 0 c 3 c 5 c 6 = 1/6 1/6 2/3 v = 28. Note that indices depend on N and B. Note also that A entires are negation of what they appear in the slack form. 3.3 Geometric interpretation of linear programming Each inequality defines a half space. The feasible region is the intersection of those halfspaces. This region is known as a convex polytope or just polytope. 3.4 A concrete example maximize 5x 1 + 4x 2 + 3x 3 subject to 2x 1 + 3x 2 + x 3 5 4x 1 + x 2 + 2x x 1 + 4x 2 + 2x 3 8 x 1, x 2, x 3 0 Next, we introduce slack variables, for example, rewriting 2x 1 + 3x 2 + x 3 5 as the constraints: w 1 0 and w 1 = 5 2x 1 3x 2 x 3. maximize z = 5x 1 + 4x 2 + 3x 3 subject to w 1 = 5 2x 1 3x 2 x 3 w 2 = 11 4x 1 x 2 2x 3 w 3 = 8 3x 1 4x 2 2x 3 x 1, x 2, x 3, w 1, w 2, w 3 0 where w 1, w 2, w 3 are the slack variables. Note also that they are currently also the basic variables. We start from the slack representation trivial solution: x 1 = x 2 = x 3 = 0 then w 1 = 5, w 2 = 11 and w 3 = 8. This is a feasible solution, and z = 0. 6

7 How to improve this solution? max z = 5x 1 + 4x 2 + 3x 3 subject to w 1 = 5 2x 1 3x 2 x 3 w 2 = 11 4x 1 x 2 2x 3 w 3 = 8 3x 1 4x 2 2x 3 x 1, x 2, x 3, w 1, w 2, w 3 0 For x 1 = x 2 = x 3 = 0 then w 1 = 5, w 2 = 11 and w 3 = 8 and z = 0. How to improve the value of the objective function? Let increase the value of x 1! Good things: objective function increases. Bad things: the solution might stop being feasible. Solution: Let us increase x 1 as much as possible... So: x 2 = x 3 = 0 and w 1 = 5 2x 1 3x 2 x 3 = 5 2x 1 w 2 = 11 4x 1 x 2 2x 3 = 11 4x 1 w 3 = 8 3x 1 4x 2 2x 3 = 8 3x 1 We want to increase x 1 as much as possible, as long as w 1, w 2, w 3 are non-negative. Formally, w 1 = 5 2x 1 0, w 2 = 11 4x 1 0 and w 3 = 8 3x 1 0. This implies that: x x 1 11/4 = 2.75 and x 1 8/3 = So, by how much can we increase the value of x 1? We must take the strictest condition. Namely, x 1 = 2.5. Putting it into the system, we now have, that the current solution is: x 1 = 2.5, x 2 = 0, x 3 = 0 and w 1 = 0, w 2 = 1, w 3 = 0.5 and the objective function is z = 5x 1 + 4x 2 + 3x 3 = Namely, we did find a better solution. What happens? One zero nonbasic variable (i.e., x 1 ) became non-zero, and one basic variable became zero (i.e., w 1 ): maximize z = 5x 1 + 4x 2 + 3x 3 subject to w 1 = 5 2x 1 3x 2 x 3 w 2 = 11 4x 1 x 2 2x 3 w 3 = 8 3x 1 4x 2 2x 3 x 1, x 2, x 3, w 1, w 2, w 3 0 7

8 Simplex( LP : linear system of inequalities ) Transform LP into slack form. Let L be the resulting slack form. Compute L F easible(l) (as described above) x StartSolution(L ) x SimplexInner(L, x) (*) if objective function value of x is > 0 then return No solution x SimplexInner(L, x ) return x Figure 1: The simplex algorithm Let us rewrite the first rule for w 1 so that x 1 is on the left side: x 1 = w 1 1.5x 2 0.5x 3 The problem is that x 1 still appears in the right size of the equations for w 2 and w 3. How to solve this? We substitute x 1 into We get: z = w x x 3 x 1 = w 1 1.5x 2 0.5x 3 w 2 = 1 + 2w 1 + 5x 2 w 3 = w x 2 0.5x 3 Note that we get the solution, by putting w 1 = x 2 = x 3 = 0. We repeat the above procedure for x 3. Why x 3? Because the coefficient of x 3 in the objective function is positive.). Checking carefully, it follows that the maximum we can increase x 3 is to 1 (why?). We rewrite the last equality for x 3 and we get: x 3 = 1 + 3w 1 + x 2 2w 3 Substituting this into the LP, we get: z = 13 w 1 3x 2 w 3 x 1 = 2 2w 1 2x 2 + w 3 w 2 = 1 + 2w 1 + 5x 2 x 3 = 1 + 3w 1 + x 2 2w 3 What should we do next? Nothing. We had reached the optimal solution. Indeed, all the coefficients in the objective function are negative (or zero). As such, the trivial solution (all non-basic variables get zero) is maximal, as they must all be non-negative, and increasing their value decreases the value of the objective function. So we better stop. 8

9 3.5 Starting somewhere OK. We had transformed a linear programming problem into slack form. Intuitively, what the Simplex algorithm is going to do, is to start from a feasible solution and start walking around in the feasible region till it reaches the best possible point as far as the objective function is concerned. But maybe the linear program L is not feasible at all (i.e., no solution exists.). Let L be (in slack form): z = v + j N c j x j x i = b i j N a ij x j for i B, where all variables x i must be non-negative (i.e., x i 0). Clearly, if we set all x i = 0 if i N then this determines the values of the basic variables. If they are all positive, we are done, as we found a feasible solution. The problem is that they might be negative. We generate a new LP problem L = F easible(l): Minimize x 0 x i = x 0 + b i j N a ij x j for i B, where all variables x i must be non-negative (i.e., x i 0). Clearly, if we pick x j = 0 for all j N (all the nonbasic variables), and a value large enough for x 0 then all the basic variables would be non-negatives, and as such, we have found a feasible solution for L. Let StartSolution(L ) denote this easily computable feasible solution. We can now use the SimplexInner algorithm to find this optimal solution to L (because we have a feasible solution to start from!). Lemma 3.4 L is feasible if and only if the optimal objective value of L is zero. Proof: A feasible solution to L is immediately an optimal solution to L with x 0 = 0, and vice versa. Namely, given a solution to L with x 0 = 0 we can transform it to a feasible solution to L by removing x 0. The simplex algorithm is presented in Figure 1. Thus, in the following, we have to describe SimplexInner - a procedure to solve an LP in slack form, when we start from a feasible solution. One technicality that is ignored above, is that the starting solution we have for L, generated by StartSolution(L) is not legal as far as the slack form is concerned, because the non-basic variable x 0 is assigned a non-zero value. However, this can be easily resolve by immediately pivot on x 0 when we execute (*) in Figure 1. Namely, we first try to decrease 9

10 x 0 as much as possible. Details are delayed till the next lecture, when we describe in more detail the SimplexInner algorithm. 10

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