Computationally attractive non-linear models for combinatorial optimisation

B. Alidaee, G.A. Kochenberger, K. Lewis, M. Lewis, and H. Wang
International Journal of Mathematics in Operational Research Vol. 1, Issue 1-2, p. 9 – 19

A common approach to many combinatorial problems is to model them as 0/1 linear programs. This approach enables the use of standard linear program-based optimisation methodologies that are widely employed by the operation research community. While this methodology has worked well for many problems, it can become problematic in cases where the linear programs generated become excessively large. In such cases, linear models can lose their computational viability. In recent years, several articles have explored the computational attractiveness of non-linear alternatives to the standard linear models typically adopted to represent such problems. In many cases, comparative computational testing yields results favouring the non-linear models by a wide margin. In this article, we summarise some of these successes in an effort to encourage a broader view of model construction than the conventional wisdom, i.e. linear modelling, typically affords.