Radius of Robust Feasibility for Mixed-Integer Problems
For a mixed-integer linear problem (MIP) with uncertain constraints, the radius of robust feasibility (RRF) determines a value for the maximal size of the uncertainty set such that robust feasibility of the MIP can be guaranteed. The approaches for the RRF in the literature are restricted to continuous optimization problems. We first analyze relations between the RRF of a MIP and its continuous linear (LP) relaxation. In particular, we derive conditions under which a MIP and its LP relaxation have the same RRF. Afterward, we extend the notion of the RRF such that it can be applied to a large variety of optimization problems and uncertainty sets. In contrast to the setting commonly used in the literature, we consider for every constraint a potentially different uncertainty set that is not necessarily full-dimensional. Thus, we generalize the RRF to MIPs and to include safe variables and constraints; that is, where uncertainties do not affect certain variables or constraints. In the extended setting, we again analyze relations between the RRF for a MIP and its LP relaxation. Afterward, we present methods for computing the RRF of LPs and of MIPs with safe variables and constraints. Finally, we show that the new methodologies can be successfully applied to the instances in the MIPLIB 2017 for computing the RRF.
Summary of Contribution: Robust optimization is an important field of operations research due to its capability of protecting optimization problems from data uncertainties that are usually defined via so-called uncertainty sets. Intensive research has been conducted in developing algorithmically tractable reformulations of the usually semi-infinite robust optimization problems. However, in applications it also important to construct appropriate uncertainty sets (i.e., prohibiting too conservative, intractable, or even infeasible robust optimization problems due to the choice of the uncertainty set). In doing so, it is useful to know the maximal “size” of a given uncertainty set such that a robust feasible solution still exists. In this paper, we study one notion of “size”: the radius of robust feasibility (RRF). We contribute on the theoretical side by generalizing the RRF to MIPs as well as to include “safe” variables and constraints (i.e., where uncertainties do not affect certain variables or constraints). This allows to apply the RRF to many applications since safe variables and constraints exist in most applications. We also provide first methods for computing the RRF of LPs as well as of MIPs with safe variables and constraints. Finally, we show that the new methodologies can be successfully applied to the instances in the MIPLIB 2017 for computing the RRF.