Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary

Bilinear optimization in computational decision analysis

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Publication Details

Author list: Ding, Xiaosong

Publisher: Mittuniversitetet

Place: Sundsvall

Publication year: 2005


Abstract

In real-life decision analysis, significant recognition has been given to theunrealistic expectation of numerically precise information. Many modernapproaches attempting to handle imprecision have focused more on representationand less on evaluation. The DELTA method, as one of the fewleading approaches, challenges this issue by its evaluation framework thatcan accommodate both precision and imprecision. However, computationally,DELTA and similar approaches may incur time-consuming calculationsdue to the introduction of imprecise information concerning probability andutility. In general, those problems are bounded non-convex bilinear optimizationprograms with disjoint linear constraints, which cannot be solvedeffectively by any existing general-purpose global optimization technique.This thesis presents two enhanced cutting plane algorithms for solvingbounded disjoint bilinear programs arising in computational decision analysis.Each algorithm consists of a local phase designed to determine a localoptimizer from an approximate solution, and a global phase designed to systematicallyexplore the feasible region, subset by subset. These two phasesare switched automatically during the global search procedure. The basicframework builds upon previously developed efficient cutting plane methods.By embedding the lower bounding technique in a branch and bound procedure,the improvement of their performances seems encouraging in the lightof computational experience. Even though the motivation to develop thesealgorithms stems from computational decision analysis, the idea can also beextended to the development of optimization approaches for handling generalbounded disjoint bilinear programs, especially for larger sized ones.


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