Tighter McCormick relaxations through subgradient propagation. (English) Zbl 1429.49033

Summary: Tight convex and concave relaxations are of high importance in deterministic global optimization. We present a method to tighten relaxations obtained by the McCormick technique. We use the McCormick subgradient propagation [the second author et al., SIAM J. Optim. 20, No. 2, 573–601 (2009; Zbl 1192.65083)] to construct simple affine under- and overestimators of each factor of the original factorable function. Then, we minimize and maximize these affine relaxations in order to obtain possibly improved range bounds for every factor resulting in possibly tighter final McCormick relaxations. We discuss the method and its limitations, in particular the lack of guarantee for improvement. Subsequently, we provide numerical results for benchmark cases found in the MINLPLib2 library and case studies presented in previous works, where the McCormick technique appears to be advantageous, and discuss computational efficiency. We see that the presented algorithm provides a significant improvement in tightness and decrease in computational time, especially in the case studies using the reduced space formulation presented in [D. Bongartz and the second author, J. Glob. Optim. 69, No. 4, 761–796 (2017; Zbl 1386.90112)].


49M20 Numerical methods of relaxation type
49M37 Numerical methods based on nonlinear programming
65K05 Numerical mathematical programming methods
90C26 Nonconvex programming, global optimization
Full Text: DOI arXiv


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