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Ph.D. theses

Exploiting structure in non-convex quadratic optimization and gas network planning under uncertainty
Citation key Schweiger2017
Author Jonas Schweiger
Year 2017
DOI 10.14279/depositonce-6015
Month Feb
Note Dissertationspreis 2018 der Gesellschaft für Operations Research
School TU Berlin
Abstract The amazing success of computational mathematical optimization over the last decades has been driven more by insights into mathematical structures than by the advance of computing technology. In this vein, we address applications, where nonconvexity in the model and uncertainty in the data pose principal difficulties. The first part of the thesis deals with non-convex quadratic programs. Branch&Bound methods for this problem class depend on tight relaxations. We contribute in several ways: First, we establish a new way to handle missing linearization variables in the well-known Reformulation-Linearization-Technique (RLT). This is implemented into the commercial software CPLEX. Second, we study the optimization of a quadratic objective over the standard simplex or a knapsack constraint. These basic structures appear as part of many complex models. Exploiting connections to the maximum clique problem and RLT, we derive new valid inequalities. Using exact and heuristic separation methods, we demonstrate the impact of the new inequalities on the relaxation and the global optimization of these problems. Third, we strengthen the state-of-the-art relaxation for the pooling problem, a well-known non-convex quadratic problem, which is, for example, relevant in the petrochemical industry. We propose a novel relaxation that captures the essential non-convex structure of the problem but is small enough for an in-depth study. We provide a complete inner description in terms of the extreme points as well as an outer description in terms of inequalities defining its convex hull (which is not a polyhedron). We show that the resulting valid convex inequalities significantly strengthen the standard relaxation of the pooling problem. The second part of this thesis focusses on a common challenge in real world applications, namely, the uncertainty entailed in the input data. We study the extension of a gas transport network, e.g., from our project partner Open Grid Europe GmbH. For a single scenario this maps to a challenging non-convex MINLP. As the future transport patterns are highly uncertain, we propose a robust model to best prepare the network operator for an array of scenarios. We develop a custom decomposition approach that makes use of the hierarchical structure of network extensions and the loose coupling between the scenarios. The algorithm used the single-scenario problem as black-box subproblem allowing the generalization of our approach to problems with the same structure. The scenario-expanded version of this problem is out of reach for today's general-purpose MINLP solvers. Yet our approach provides primal and dual bounds for instances with up to 256 scenarios and solves many of them to optimality. Extensive computational studies show the impact of our work.
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