Computational Optimization and Applications

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 523–541 | Cite as

Adaptively refined dynamic program for linear spline regression

  • Noam GoldbergEmail author
  • Youngdae Kim
  • Sven Leyffer
  • Thomas D. Veselka


The linear spline regression problem is to determine a piecewise linear function for estimating a set of given points while minimizing a given measure of misfit or error. This is a classical problem in computational statistics and operations research; dynamic programming was proposed as a solution technique more than 40 years ago by Bellman and Roth (J Am Stat Assoc 64:1079–1084, 1969). The algorithm requires a discretization of the solution space to define a grid of candidate breakpoints. This paper proposes an adaptive refinement scheme for the grid of candidate breakpoints in order to allow the dynamic programming method to scale for larger instances of the problem. We evaluate the quality of solutions found on small instances compared with optimal solutions determined by a novel integer programming formulation of the problem. We also consider a generalization of the linear spline regression problem to fit multiple curves that share breakpoint horizontal coordinates, and we extend our method to solve the generalized problem. Computational experiments verify that our nonuniform grid construction schemes are useful for computing high-quality solutions for both the single-curve and two-curve linear spline regression problem.


Piecewise regression Least squares Change point detection  Dynamic programming Mixed-integer programming 



We thank Jed Brown for comments and Ashutosh Mahajan for pointing us to [3]. We thank an anonymous referee for pointing us to [6].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noam Goldberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Youngdae Kim
    • 2
  • Sven Leyffer
    • 3
  • Thomas D. Veselka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ManagementBar-Ilan University Ramat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Computer SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Mathematics and Computer Science DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  4. 4.Decision and Information SciencesArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

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