A branch, price, and cut approach to solving the maximum weighted independent set problem
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The maximum weight-independent set problem (MWISP) is one of the most well-known and well-studied NP-hard problems in the field of combinatorial optimization. In the first part of the dissertation, I explore efficient branch-and-price (B&P) approaches to solve MWISP exactly. B&P is a useful integer-programming tool for solving NP-hard optimization problems. Specifically, I look at vertex- and edge-disjoint decompositions of the underlying graph. MWISPÃ¢ÂÂs on the resulting subgraphs are less challenging, on average, to solve. I use the B&P framework to solve MWISP on the original graph G using these specially constructed subproblems to generate columns. I demonstrate that vertex-disjoint partitioning scheme gives an effective approach for relatively sparse graphs. I also show that the edge-disjoint approach is less effective than the vertex-disjoint scheme because the associated DWD reformulation of the latter entails a slow rate of convergence. In the second part of the dissertation, I address convergence properties associated with Dantzig-Wolfe Decomposition (DWD). I discuss prevalent methods for improving the rate of convergence of DWD. I also implement specific methods in application to the edge-disjoint B&P scheme and show that these methods improve the rate of convergence. In the third part of the dissertation, I focus on identifying new cut-generation methods within the B&P framework. Such methods have not been explored in the literature. I present two new methodologies for generating generic cutting planes within the B&P framework. These techniques are not limited to MWISP and can be used in general applications of B&P. The first methodology generates cuts by identifying faces (facets) of subproblem polytopes and lifting associated inequalities; the second methodology computes Lift-and-Project (L&P) cuts within B&P. I successfully demonstrate the feasibility of both approaches and present preliminary computational tests of each.
Warrier, Deepak (2003). A branch, price, and cut approach to solving the maximum weighted independent set problem. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from