April 26th, 2018, 04:34 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2018 From: Berkeley Posts: 4 Thanks: 0  MILP formulation
Hi everybody, I am currently working on a problem which implies to formulate a MILP problem, but I am a beginner in this field. The point is, in my opinion, mainly that I don't know if this type of problem has a name, which could help me to find posts here or somewhere else : I want to minimize the number of unique flow rates values m_i with i being the duct number (which is several hundreds), and the flow rate can be equal to any value. In input (already calculated) I have powers produced by each assembly (to be evacuated by those fliw rates) : Q_i I have several linear constraints which are linear, but one is not (I think) : Capture d’écran 20180426 à 16.32.52.png with i' taking values of each adjacent duct of the duct i. I want to minimize would be the number of distinct values of flow rates, or maximize the number of flow rates which are strictly equal. It is very important here to get this linear nature, in order to get THE optimal result. So, without the nonlinear constraint, has this problem a name? Is there a known method to formulate it? How would you linearize the nonlinear constraint? Thank you! 
May 3rd, 2018, 09:35 AM  #2 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2018 From: Berkeley Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
Hi, is this question in the right category ? If yes, can anyone help me ? I spent the whole week trying to solve my problem and still no (realistic) clue. Thanks 
May 3rd, 2018, 09:53 AM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2015 From: USA Posts: 2,174 Thanks: 1143  Quote:
Did you try here?  
May 6th, 2018, 05:25 PM  #4 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2018 From: Berkeley Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
Thank you I will try !

May 10th, 2018, 12:02 PM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: Mar 2015 From: New Jersey Posts: 1,603 Thanks: 115 
An LP problem consists of a linear function (the objective function) which you wish to maximize or minimize subject to linear constraints. For example: Maximize Objective Function x+2y Subject to Constraints: $\displaystyle 2x+3y \leq 6, x\geq 0, y \geq 0$. If you add the condition that the variables are integers, it is an ILP problem (x & y are integers). If only some of the variables are integers, it is an MILP problem (only x is an integer). Your problem consists of two steps: 1) Clearly define the problem (write the objective function and constraints} 2) Look for a method of solution: utube is great for this. You can replace ab $\displaystyle \leq 4$ by two linear constraints: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloansc...3S13_tut04.pdf $\displaystyle ab\leq 4$ $\displaystyle 4 \leq ab \leq 4$ $\displaystyle ab \leq 4$ $\displaystyle a+b \leq 4$ I would first formulate and solve a problem in 2 or 3 variables to get the lay of the land. Last edited by skipjack; May 10th, 2018 at 01:05 PM. 
May 13th, 2018, 10:15 AM  #6 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2018 From: Berkeley Posts: 4 Thanks: 0 
Thank you for your answer. I tried something but I am not happy with that : I discretized the flowrates in a vector w (let's say that its length is n_fl), then created binary variables d_i,j to show that the duct i (there are n_d ducts) is cooled by the flowrate j (so number of binary = n_d * n_fl). Then I created n_fl other variables b_j which take the value 1 if at least one the ducts is cooled by the flowrate j. My cost function is the sum of b_j (so the number of different flowrates chosen). Two problems however :  the number of binary variables is HUGE (if there are 500 ducts and 200 values of discretized flowrates, there are 10^5 binaries) with a lot of constraints, and even with an HPC I can get a results in a week or even more.  the fact that I discretized the flowrates is so random : I am not able to say that it is the optimal solution if I didn't allow the flowrates to be continuous. Have you got a clue on that ? 

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formulation, milp 
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