Avoiding numerical cancellation in the interior point method for solving semidefinite programs
- Cite this article as:
- Sturm, J. Math. Program., Ser. B (2003) 95: 219. doi:10.1007/s10107-002-0348-4
The matrix variables in a primal-dual pair of semidefinite programs are getting increasingly ill-conditioned as they approach a complementary solution. Multiplying the primal matrix variable with a vector from the eigenspace of the non-basic part will therefore result in heavy numerical cancellation. This effect is amplified by the scaling operation in interior point methods. A complete example illustrates these numerical issues. In order to avoid numerical problems in interior point methods, we propose to maintain the matrix variables in a Cholesky form. We discuss how the factors of the v-space Cholesky form can be updated after a main iteration of the interior point method with Nesterov-Todd scaling. An analogue for second order cone programming is also developed. Numerical results demonstrate the success of this approach.