Integer Quadratic Programming for Control and Communication

University dissertation from Institutionen för systemteknik

Abstract: The main topic of this thesis is integer quadratic programming with applications to problems arising in the areas of automatic control and communication. One of the most widespread modern control methods is Model Predictive Control (MPC). In each sampling time, MPC requires the solution of a Quadratic Programming (QP) problem. To be able to use MPC for large systems, and at high sampling rates, optimization routines tailored for MPC are used. In recent years, the range of application of MPC has been extended to so-called hybrid systems. Hybrid systems are systems where continuous dynamics interact with logic. When this extension is made, binary variables are introduced in the problem. As a consequence, the QP problem has to be replaced by a far more challenging Mixed Integer Quadratic Programming (MIQP) problem, which is known to have a computational complexity which grows exponentially in the number of binary optimization variables. In modern communication systems, multiple users share a so-called multi-access channel. To estimate the information originally sent, a maximum likelihood problem involving binary variables can be solved. The process of simultaneously estimating the information sent by multiple users is called Multiuser Detection (MUD). In this thesis, the problem to efficiently solve MIQP problems originating from MPC and MUD is addressed. Four different algorithms are presented. First, a polynomial complexity preprocessing algorithm for binary quadratic programming problems is presented. By using the algorithm, some, or all, binary variables can be computed efficiently already in the preprocessing phase. In numerical experiments, the algorithm is applied to unconstrained MPC problems with a mixture of real valued and binary valued control signals, and the result shows that the performance gain can be significant compared to solving the problem using branch and bound. The preprocessing algorithm has also been applied to the MUD problem, where simulations have shown that the bit error rate can be significantly reduced compared to using common suboptimal algorithms. Second, an MIQP algorithm tailored for MPC is presented. The algorithm uses a branch and bound method where the relaxed node problems are solved by a dual active set QP algorithm. In this QP algorithm, the KKT systems are solved using Riccati recursions in order to decrease the computational complexity. Simulation results show that both the proposed QP solver and MIQP solver have lower computational complexity compared to corresponding generic solvers. Third, the dual active set QP algorithm is enhanced using ideas from gradient projection methods. The performance of this enhanced algorithm is shown to be comparable with the existing commercial state-of-the-art QP solver \cplex for some random linear MPC problems. Fourth, an algorithm for efficient computation of the search directions in an SDP solver for a proposed alternative SDP relaxation applicable to MPC problems with binary control signals is presented. The SDP relaxation considered has the potential to give a tighter lower bound on the optimal objective function value compared to the QP relaxation that is traditionally used in branch and bound for these problems, and its computational performance is better than the ordinary SDP relaxation for the problem. Furthermore, the tightness of the different relaxations is investigated both theoretically and in numerical experiments.