Introducing Adaptive Algorithmic Behavior of Primal Heuristics in SCIP for Solving Mixed Integer Programs


State-of-the-art solvers for mixed integer programs (MIP) govern a variety of algorithmic components. Ideally, the solver adaptively learns to concentrate its computational budget on those components that perform well on a particular problem, especially if they are time consuming. In this work, we focus on two examples of such expensive algorithms, namely the classes of Large Neighborhood Search and diving heuristics. Typically, only one algorithm is run and evaluated at a time to update the overall selection strategy. We review several common strategies for such a selection scenario under uncertainty, also known as Multi Armed Bandit Problem. In order to apply those strategies, we carefully design deterministic reward functions to rank and compare each individual heuristic within its respective group. We use simulations on publicly available MIP problems to calibrate the bandit strategies and show their individual learning curves. Finally, we discuss the computational benefits of using the proposed adaptive scheme within the MIP solver SCIP.

Data61 Decision Sciences Seminar, Monash University
Melbourne, Australia
Gregor Hendel
Senior Engineer