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Sample average approximation for stochastic nonconvex mixed integer nonlinear programming via outer-approximation

Abstract

We propose a sample average approximation-based outer-approximation algorithm (SAAOA) that can address nonconvex two-stage stochastic programs (SP) with any continuous or discrete probability distributions. Previous work has considered this approach for convex two-stage SP (Wei and Realff in Comput Chem Eng 28(3):333–346, 2004). The SAAOA algorithm does internal sampling within a nonconvex outer-approximation algorithm where we iterate between a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) master problem and a nonconvex nonlinear programming (NLP) subproblem. We prove that the optimal solutions and optimal value obtained by the SAAOA algorithm converge to the optimal solutions and the optimal value of the true SP problem as the sample size goes to infinity. The convergence rate is also given to estimate the sample size. Since the theoretical sample size estimate is too conservative in practice, we propose an SAAOA algorithm with confidence intervals for the upper bound and the lower bound at each iteration of the SAAOA algorithm. Two policies are proposed to update the sample sizes dynamically within the SAAOA algorithm with confidence intervals. The proposed algorithm works well for the special case of pure binary first stage variables and continuous stage two variables since in this case the nonconvex NLPs can be solved for each scenario independently. The proposed algorithm is tested with a stochastic pooling problem and is shown to outperform the external sampling approach where large scale MINLPs need to be solved.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from ExxonMobil Corporation through the Center of Advanced Process Decision-making at Carnegie Mellon University. The authors would like to acknowledge Jing Wei for starting this project during her postdoc at ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Research. The authors would like to thank Prof. Nick Sahinidis for providing the special version of BARON that generates the convex relaxations for the nonconvex MINLPs.

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Correspondence to Ignacio E. Grossmann.

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Marco A. Duran Deceased in 2018. Pioneer of outer-approximation algorithm for MINLP optimization.

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Li, C., Bernal, D.E., Furman, K.C. et al. Sample average approximation for stochastic nonconvex mixed integer nonlinear programming via outer-approximation. Optim Eng 22, 1245–1273 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11081-020-09563-2

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Keywords

  • Stochastic programming
  • Sample average approximation
  • Mixed-integer nonlinear programming
  • Outer-approximation