Implementation of the Two Phase Algorithm

First phase

The Benders’ module also implements a two phase algorithm for MIP problems. In the first phase it solves the relaxed problem in which the integer variables become continuous. The resulting relaxed MIP problem is then solved using the classic Benders’ decomposition algorithm in order to find Benders’ cuts.

Second phase

The second phase solves the original MIP problem. The master problem created in the first phase is also used in the second phase but without relaxing the integer variables. The Benders’ cuts that were added during the first phase are not removed; these cuts are still valid. In general the relaxed MIP problem can be solved more efficiently than the MIP problem using Benders’ decomposition, and the hope is that by adding the Benders’ cuts found during the first phase, the Benders’ decomposition algorithm needs considerably less iterations in the second phase to solve the original MIP problem.

Implementation of DoBendersDecompositionTwoPhase

The procedure DoBendersDecompositionTwoPhase implements the two phase algorithm. It starts by making copies of its first two input arguments. Next the master problem and the subproblem are created. The parameters for the number of optimality and feasibility cuts are reset. The problem type of the master problem is changed from ‘MIP’ to ‘RMIP’ which basically changes the integer variables into continuous variables. The procedure BendersAlgorithm then solves the relaxed problem using the classic Benders’ decomposition algorithm; see Implementation of the Classic Algorithm for its implementation. After checking the program status of the relaxed master problem the algorithm continues by switching the problem type of the master problem back to ‘MIP’. Next the original problem is solved using either procedure BendersAlgorithmSingleMIP (Implementation of the Modern Algorithm) or BendersAlgorithm (Implementation of the Classic Algorithm). The algorithm ends by deleting the master problem and the subproblem. As before we leave out parts of the code that handle details like creating a status file, for the sake of brevity and clarity.

OriginalGMP := MyGMP ;
VariablesMasterProblem := MyMasterVariables ;

! Create (Relaxed) Master problem.
gmpM := GMP::Benders::CreateMasterProblem( OriginalGMP, VariablesMasterProblem,
                        feasibilityOnly : FeasibilityOnly,
                        addConstraints : AddTighteningConstraints ) ;

! Create Subproblem.
gmpS := GMP::Benders::CreateSubProblem( OriginalGMP, gmpM, 'BendersSubProblem',
                        useDual : UseDual,
                        normalizationType : NormalizationType );

solsesS := GMP::Instance::CreateSolverSession( gmpS ) ;

NumberOfOptimalityCuts  := 0;
NumberOfFeasibilityCuts := 0;

! Start the classic Benders' decomposition algorithm for the relaxed Master
! MIP problem.
GMP::Instance::SetMathematicalProgrammingType( gmpM, 'RMIP' );

IterationLimit := IterationLimitPhaseSingle;


ProgramStatus := GMP::Solution::GetProgramStatus( OriginalGMP, 1 );

if ( ProgramStatus = 'Infeasible' or
     ProgramStatus = 'Unbounded'  ) then
    DoPhaseTwo := 0;

if ( DoPhaseTwo ) then
    ! Switch back math program type.
    GMP::Instance::SetMathematicalProgrammingType( gmpM, 'MIP' );

    if ( UseSingleMIP ) then
        ! Start the Single MIP Tree Benders' decomposition algorithm.
        IterationLimit := IterationLimitPhaseTwo;


GMP::Instance::Delete( gmpM );
GMP::Instance::Delete( gmpS );

Iteration and time limit

The section in the Benders’ module for the two phase algorithm contains two extra control parameters for setting the iteration and time limit used by the classic Benders’ decomposition algorithm in the second phase. These parameters are IterationLimitPhaseTwo and TimeLimitPhaseTwo respectively. The parameters IterationLimit and TimeLimit are used in the first phase. In some cases it might be a good strategy to limit the number of iterations (or the running time) during the first phase. The two phase algorithm will then still find a global optimal solution of the original problem as long as the second phase terminates normally. If the modern approach (with a single MIP tree) is used in the second phase then the general solver options iteration_limit and time_limit are used for the second phase.