## Potential Function Methods for Approximately Solving Linear Programming Problems: Theory and Practice (2001)

Citations: | 70 - 4 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Bienstock01potentialfunction,

author = {Daniel Bienstock},

title = {Potential Function Methods for Approximately Solving Linear Programming Problems: Theory and Practice},

year = {2001}

}

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### Abstract

After several decades of sustained research and testing, linear programming has evolved into a remarkably reliable, accurate and useful tool for handling industrial optimization problems. Yet, large problems arising from several concrete applications routinely defeat the very best linear programming codes, running on the fastest computing hardware. Moreover, this is a trend that may well continue and intensify, as problem sizes escalate and the need for fast algorithms becomes more stringent. Traditionally, the focus in optimization algorithms, and in particular, in algorithms for linear programming, has been to solve problems "to optimality." In concrete implementations, this has always meant the solution ofproblems to some finite accuracy (for example, eight digits). An alternative approach would be to explicitly, and rigorously, trade o# accuracy for speed. One motivating factor is that in many practical applications, quickly obtaining a partially accurate solution is much preferable to obtaining a very accurate solution very slowly. A secondary (and independent) consideration is that the input data in many practical applications has limited accuracy to begin with. During the last ten years, a new body ofresearch has emerged, which seeks to develop provably good approximation algorithms for classes of linear programming problems. This work both has roots in fundamental areas of mathematical programming and is also framed in the context ofthe modern theory ofalgorithms. The result ofthis work has been a family ofalgorithms with solid theoretical foundations and with growing experimental success. In this manuscript we will study these algorithms, starting with some ofthe very earliest examples, and through the latest theoretical and computational developments.