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31
votes
6answers
17k views

Is all non-convex optimization heuristic?

Convex Optimization is a mathematically rigorous and well-studied field. In linear programming a whole host of tractable methods give your global optimums in lightning fast times. Quadratic ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are optimization problems called “programming”?

Why are optimization problems often called programs? linear programming geometric programming convex programming Integer programming ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

A circle packing conjecture

Consider $n$ circles with variable radii $r_1,\ldots, r_n$ that pack inside a fixed circle of unit radius. In other words, all $n$ variable-radius circles are contained in the unit radius circle and ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Finding minimum (or maximum) element of a low rank matrix.

Let $A\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times n}$ and suppose that $A$ is of rank $m\leq n$. Moreover suppose we know $u_1,\ldots, u_m \in\mathbb{R}^{n\times 1}$ and $v_1,\ldots, v_m \in\mathbb{R}^{n\times 1}$ such ...
11
votes
3answers
888 views

Greatest function satisfying some convexity requirements

Edit: Even though there is an accepted answer, the problem isn't solved. I only accepted the answer, because there was a bounty on the question so I had to accept an incomplete answer. I was working ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Maximizing the Smallest Eigenvalue of a Diagonally Dominant Matrix

Assume that we have a full-rank diagonally dominant matrix $A$, all the diagonal elements of which are positive, all the non-diagonal elements are negative, and the sum of the absolute values of the ...
10
votes
0answers
214 views

“Small” maps from sphere to sphere

Start with a continuous map $f:S^{n+k} \rightarrow S^n$ (round unit spheres). The graph of $f$ lives in $S^{n+k}\times S^n$ and suppose it has a surface area (as a subspace of co-dimension $n$). Now ...
9
votes
3answers
381 views

“Most Similar Vector Problem” on an Integer Lattice?

I am currently working on problem that I think could be expressed as an integer lattice problem. Given $u \in \mathbb{R}^n$ and a bounded integer lattice $L = \mathbb{Z}^n \cap [-M,M]^n$ I would like ...
9
votes
4answers
303 views

Software tools for medium-scale systems of polynomial equations

I am attempting to find all real solutions of a system of 12 polynomial equations in 12 unknowns. The equations each have total degree 6 and contain up to 1700 terms. I am only interested in real ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Robust black box function minimization with extremely expensive cost function

There is an enormous amount of information about the common applied math problem of minimizing a function.. software packages, hundreds of books, research, etc. But I still have not found a good ...
6
votes
3answers
670 views

Some questions about Invexity

Recently, I am looking into a non-convex optimization problem whose points satisfying KKT conditions can be obtained. Then the problem becomes how to decide whether the KKT conditions are sufficient ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

Generalization of the equilateral triangle?

I consider points in the two-dimensional plane. An equilateral triangle is a set of three points in the plane which are equidistant. Suppose now I have $n$ points $x_1,...,x_n$. What is the ...
6
votes
0answers
118 views

A specific case of the $p$-center problem

Given a fixed positive integer $m$, let $\cal{S}$ be the subset from $\mathbb{R}^m$ defined as $\cal{S} = \{u \in \mathbb{R}^m \mid \forall i \in \{1, \dots, m\}, u(i) > 0$ and $\sum_{i=1}^m{u(i) = ...
6
votes
0answers
556 views

Maximizing the matrix norm

Hi all, I wish to find a 3x3 rotation (orthogonal) matrix $\mathbf{R}$ such that it maximizes the following matrix norm: $||\mathbf{A} \mathbf{D}_r \mathbf{D}_b ||_2$ where $\mathbf{A}$ is a known $...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

Gandhi's quote formalized [closed]

Hello, I hope this question is appropriate for Mathoverflow. Gandhi said, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world". I don't understand anything in Game/optimization theory (I don't know ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Non-negative quadratic maximization

For a given symmetric and positive semidefinite $n \times n$ matrix $A$, we want to solve the problem $$\max_{||x|| = 1, \ x\geq 0} x^T A x.$$ Here, $x\geq 0$ indicates that $x$ must be component-wise ...
5
votes
2answers
580 views

Getting started: combinatorial optimization for computer scientists

I have a background in computer science and I am starting to work on some problems those are basically combinatorial optimization problems. I have good knowleges of graphs, *-flow algorithms and so ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Two fold optimization: is there an established approach for this kind of problem?

I have a list of thousands of linear expressions, with less than 100 total variables. Each expression is associated with a positive point value. I want to make as many of the expressions greater than ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Optimization of a function of a positive definite matrix and its inverse

This question is a little ill-posed, but I've been playing with some equations and am just wondering if this resembles any known problems that have been solved. Suppose I have two real, positive ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

Basin of Attraction

I have a function $F$ which is defined as follows: $$ F(x) = \sum_{i=1}^N f(z_i^T x) $$ where ${z_i}$ are known $m \times 1$ vectors, $x$ is an $m \times 1$ vector, and for $t\in \mathbb{R}$, $f(t) = \...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Optimal knot placement for fitting piecewise-continuous linear functions to a nonlinear function

I encountered this problem in my research and it is turning out to be a surprisingly difficult one(for me, at least). Suppose we have a univariate nonlinear function $f(x)$ where $x \in [L,U]$. Our ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Homogeneous system of polynomial equations

Hi all, Previously I asked a question that currently has no satisfactory answer Least sum squares given constraints on subcomponents It comes from an engineering problem. I was thinking to formulate ...
4
votes
0answers
211 views

maximize non-convex composite function

I want to maximize a composite function over a convex set \begin{equation} \begin{aligned} & \underset{\mathbf{p}}{\text{maximize}} & & f(\mathbf{p})-g(\mathbf{p})\\ & \text{subject to}...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Computational complexity of unconstrained convex optimisation

What is known about the relationship between unconstrained convex optimisation and computational complexity? For example, for which optimisation problems and which gradient descent algorithms is one ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Linear program to maximize the minimum absolute value of linear functions ?

I'd like to compute $\max_{x,t} t$ such that $\forall i$, $t < a_i + |x - b_i|$. where $a_i,\ldots, a_n$ and $b_1,\ldots,b_n$ are fixed and $x \in [0,1]$. Can this be solved with a linear ...
3
votes
2answers
745 views

Optimizing a quadratic restricted to the sphere

Let $A$ be $p\times p$ symmetric positive definite with distinct eigenvalues and $x_p\in \mathbb{R}^p$ and consider the problem Minimize $x'Ax + b'x$ Subject to $x'x=1$ Most of the information I've ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Compactness of a semi algebraic set

Suppose I have a polynomial $p\in R[x_1,\ldots,x_n]$ and I look at the set $S:=\{ x\in R^n : p(x)\geq 0\}$. Are there algebraic certificates on $p$ that will certify that $S$ is compact?
3
votes
2answers
266 views

Uniqueness of fixed points for rational transformations

Background Let $a,b,c,d$ be nonnegative constants and consider the map $T\colon [0,1]\times[0,1] \rightarrow [0,1]\times[0,1]$ defined by $$ T(x,y) := \left( \frac{1}{1 + ax + by}, \frac{1}{1 + cx + ...
3
votes
1answer
587 views

lipschitz constant of a multivariate function

I have a function $f:\mathbb{R}^{50} \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ and I need to compute the Lipschitz constant of $f$ to solve an optimization problem using a specific algorithm. Does any one have ...
3
votes
1answer
633 views

Java library for SDP [closed]

People who frequently code semi definite programs, is there any java library for solving sdps? I have tried my luck but all I can find is C/C++ libraries or matlab toolboxes. I can write wrappers to ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Optimization problem - maximizing number of satisfied linear inequalities subject to a quadratic constraint

I am wondering what is known about optimization problems of the following type. Our control x is a unit vector in $\mathbb{R}^n$. We are given a finite number of linear inequalities $$Az≥b,$$ and we ...
3
votes
1answer
670 views

maximization of a quadratic function with a quadratic constraint

I have the following quadratic maximization problem $\max_{\mathbf X} \quad tr(\mathbf A\mathbf X\mathbf B\mathbf X^H)+tr(\mathbf C\mathbf X)+tr(\mathbf C^H\mathbf X^H)$ subject to the quadratic ...
3
votes
0answers
449 views

Minimum weight bipartite graph clique covering

I was wondering if anyone here could give me any pointers as to how to solve the following problem. Let $B=(L,R,E)$ be a bipartite graph, and $\forall u\in L\cup R$, let $c_u$ be a cost associated to ...
3
votes
0answers
193 views

Could SVD be used to optimize the partial inner-products?

Suppose a set $N$ of $n$ distinct points in $m-$dimensional space is given in $X\in\mathbb{R}^{n\times m}$. Also, suppose a subset $L\subset N$, $|L|=l<m<n$, with $m-$dimensional coordinates in ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

Maximal minimum for a sum of two (or more) cosines

Please prove (or disprove, and give the correct answer): $$2 =\mathrm{argmax}_{r\geq 1}\min_{x\in \mathbb{R}}\left[\cos\left(x\right)+\cos\left(rx\right)\right] $$ In other words, find $r \geq 1$, ...
2
votes
4answers
512 views

Efficient algorithm for finding the minima of a piecewise linear function

Consider real numbers $a_i$ and $b_i$ for $i=1\dots n$ and define a function by $f(x) = \max_i ( a_i + b_i x )$ We desire to find $\min_x f(x)$. Obviously this occurs at an intersection of two lines:...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to fit the parameters of differential equations with known data?

I have the following data from chemical kinetics research to fit the parameters of ordinary differential equations: $$ \left[ \begin{array}{ccccccc} \text{No.}& t & y_1(t)&y_2(t) & ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Efficient Algorithm For Projection Onto A Convex Set

Given $\mathbf{x} \in \mathbb{R}^n$ and $\tau$ a scalar, I would like to solve the following Euclidean projection problem: $\underset{\mathbf{p}}{\mathrm{argmin}} \; \|\mathbf{p}-\mathbf{x}\|_2 \;\; \...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Maximizing positive definite quadratic using the eigendecompoisition

Consider the problem: $\textrm{max}\;\; x^T Q x$ subject to $||x||_\infty \leq 1$, where $Q$ is a positive definite matrix. I believe this problem is NP-hard (although I have only found hardness ...
2
votes
3answers
967 views

Maximizing the minimum of piecewise linear functions in high dimensional space

I'd like to compute $\max_{x,t} t$ such that $\forall i$, $t < a_i + \|x - b_i\|_\infty$. where $a_i,\ldots, a_n \in \mathbb R$ and $b_1,\ldots,b_n \in [0,1]^{21}$ are fixed, $x \in [0,1]^{21}$, $...
2
votes
2answers
337 views

Finding the maximum of a multivariate polynomial of degree one

I need to find the global maximum of the function \begin{align} f\left(x\right) & = p_1 \max\left(\sum a_{1i} x_{1i}, \sum b_{1i} x_{1i}\right) - \sum c_{1i} x_{1i} \\ &+\ldots \\ &+ p_n ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

A Function with Exactly $k$ Minima in a Bounded Space

Is it possible to have a function with the following properties? (i) The function maps a bounded $n$-dimensional space $\mathcal{X}$ (say $\left[0,1\right]^n$) onto a bounded interval $\mathcal{Y}$ (...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Bounding the difference in the value of a strongly convex function at its integer minimum and other integer points

I am currently working on a problem where I have to minimize a $m$-strongly convex function $$f ~: ~\mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R}^+$$ over a bounded integer lattice, $$L = \mathbb{Z}^n \cap [-...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Is there any algorithm can find local minima of nonconvex objective function in guaranteed polynomial time?

More precisely, The setting could be formulated as, $min. F_{\lambda}(p)$ over permutation matrices $P$ Here $F_{\lambda}(p)$=$\lambda *F_{0}(p)+(1-\lambda)F_{1}(p)$ where both $F_{0}(p)$ and $F_{...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Dual Norm For Sum of 2-Norms

What is the dual of a norm that is the sum of two-norms? Specifically, say we have the following norm for $\mathbf{x}\in \mathbb{R}^n$ and $\mathbf{A}_i \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}$ $\|\mathbf{x}\| = ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Best algorithm/software for solving a planar transportation problem ?

I am looking for software (open-source or otherwise) or an implementable algorithm for solving a continuous transportation problem. The input consists of a pointset in a planar rectangle, and we need ...
2
votes
2answers
381 views

Functional Minimization: When is this heuristic rigorous?

I'm trying to solve a functional minimization problem of the following form: $$\arg\min_{f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow [0,1]} h(f)$$ where $h$ is some expression in terms of several integrals over $f$. I ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Can subgradient infer convexity?

It is known that If $f:U→ R$ is a real-valued convex function defined on a convex open set in the Euclidean space $R^n$, a vector v in that space is called a subgradient at a point $x_0$ in $U$ if for ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Maximum of a mollified/convolution function

I have a function $f:{\mathbb R}\rightarrow {\mathbb R}_+$ which has a unique maximum at $x=0$. $f$ can be symmetric or asymmetric. I am interested on the mollified-f function $$\tilde{f}(x)=\int_{-\...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

A Recursive Maximization Problem

Let $A\ge B>0$ be real constants. I say that a function $f:[0,1]\rightarrow[0,1]$ satisfies the $(A,B)$-condition if for all $p\in [0,1]$, the expression $$q(A-Bp-Bf(q))$$ is maximized (not ...