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Exact solution of network flow models with strong relaxations

05/31/2021
by   Vinícius L. de Lima, et al.
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We address the solution of Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) models with strong relaxations that are derived from Dantzig-Wolfe decompositions and allow a pseudo-polynomial pricing algorithm. We exploit their network-flow characterization and provide a framework based on column generation, reduced-cost variable-fixing, and a highly asymmetric branching scheme that allows us to take advantage of the potential of the current MILP solvers. We apply our framework to a variety of cutting and packing problems from the literature. The efficiency of the framework is proved by extensive computational experiments, in which a significant number of open instances could be solved to proven optimality for the first time.

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