Tips and Tricks

Originally Contributed by: Arpit Bhatia

This tutorial is aimed at providing a simplistic introduction to conic programming using JuMP.

It uses the following packages:

using JuMP
import SCS
import LinearAlgebra

A good resource for learning more about functions which can be modeled using cones is the MOSEK Modeling Cookbook.

What is a cone?

A subset $C$ of a vector space $V$ is a cone if $\forall x \in C$ and positive scalars $\lambda > 0$, the product $\lambda x \in C$.

A cone $C$ is a convex cone if $\lambda x + (1 - \lambda) y \in C$, for any $\lambda \in [0, 1]$, and any $x, y \in C$.

What is a conic program?

Conic programming problems are convex optimization problems in which a convex function is minimized over the intersection of an affine subspace and a convex cone. An example of a conic-form minimization problems, in the primal form is:

\[\begin{aligned} & \min_{x \in \mathbb{R}^n} & a_0^T x + b_0 \\ & \;\;\text{s.t.} & A_i x + b_i & \in \mathcal{C}_i & i = 1 \ldots m \end{aligned}\]

The corresponding dual problem is:

\[\begin{aligned} & \max_{y_1, \ldots, y_m} & -\sum_{i=1}^m b_i^T y_i + b_0 \\ & \;\;\text{s.t.} & a_0 - \sum_{i=1}^m A_i^T y_i & = 0 \\ & & y_i & \in \mathcal{C}_i^* & i = 1 \ldots m \end{aligned}\]

where each $\mathcal{C}_i$ is a closed convex cone and $\mathcal{C}_i^*$ is its dual cone.

Second-Order Cone

The Second-Order Cone (or Lorentz Cone) of dimension $n$ is of the form:

\[Q^n = \{ (t, x) \in \mathbb{R}^n : t \ge ||x||_2 \}\]


Minimize the L2 norm of a vector $x$.

model = Model()
@variable(model, x[1:3])
@variable(model, norm_x)
@constraint(model, [norm_x; x] in SecondOrderCone())
@objective(model, Min, norm_x)

\[ norm\_x \]

Rotated Second-Order Cone

A Second-Order Cone rotated by $\pi/4$ in the $(x_1,x_2)$ plane is called a Rotated Second-Order Cone. It is of the form:

\[Q_r^n = \{ (t,u,x) \in \mathbb{R}^n : 2tu \ge ||x||_2^2, t,u \ge 0 \}\]


Given a set of predictors $x$, and observations $y$, find the parameter $\theta$ that minimizes the sum of squares loss between $y_i$ and $\theta x_i$.

x = [1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0]
y = [0.45, 1.04, 1.51, 1.97]
model = Model()
@variable(model, θ)
@variable(model, loss)
@constraint(model, [loss; 0.5; θ .* x .- y] in RotatedSecondOrderCone())
@objective(model, Min, loss)

\[ loss \]

Exponential Cone

An Exponential Cone is a set of the form:

\[K_{exp} = \{ (x,y,z) \in \mathbb{R}^3 : y \exp (x/y) \le z, y > 0 \}\]

model = Model()
@variable(model, x[1:3] >= 0)
@constraint(model, x in MOI.ExponentialCone())
@objective(model, Min, x[3])

\[ x_{3} \]

Example: Entropy Maximization

The entropy maximization problem consists of maximizing the entropy function, $H(x) = -x\log{x}$ subject to linear inequality constraints.

\[\begin{aligned} & \max & - \sum_{i=1}^n x_i \log x_i \\ & \;\;\text{s.t.} & \mathbf{1}' x = 1 \\ & & Ax \leq b \end{aligned}\]

We can model this problem using an exponential cone by using the following transformation:

\[t\leq -x\log{x} \iff t\leq x\log(1/x) \iff (t, x, 1) \in K_{exp}\]

Thus, our problem becomes,

\[\begin{aligned} & \max & 1^Tt \\ & \;\;\text{s.t.} & Ax \leq b \\ & & 1^T x = 1 \\ & & (t_i, x_i, 1) \in K_{exp} && \forall i = 1 \ldots n \\ \end{aligned}\]

n = 15
m = 10
A = randn(m, n)
b = rand(m, 1)

model = Model(SCS.Optimizer)
@variable(model, t[1:n])
@variable(model, x[1:n])
@objective(model, Max, sum(t))
@constraint(model, sum(x) == 1)
@constraint(model, A * x .<= b)
@constraint(model, con[i = 1:n], [t[i], x[i], 1] in MOI.ExponentialCone())

Positive Semidefinite Cone

The set of positive semidefinite matrices (PSD) of dimension $n$ form a cone in $\mathbb{R}^n$. We write this set mathematically as:

\[\mathcal{S}_{+}^n = \{ X \in \mathcal{S}^n \mid z^T X z \geq 0, \: \forall z\in \mathbb{R}^n \}.\]

A PSD cone is represented in JuMP using the MOI sets PositiveSemidefiniteConeTriangle (for upper triangle of a PSD matrix) and PositiveSemidefiniteConeSquare (for a complete PSD matrix). However, it is preferable to use the PSDCone shortcut as illustrated below.

Example: largest eigenvalue of a symmetric matrix

Suppose $A$ has eigenvalues $\lambda_{1} \geq \lambda_{2} \ldots \geq \lambda_{n}$. Then the matrix $t I-A$ has eigenvalues $t-\lambda_{1}, t-\lambda_{2}, \ldots, t-\lambda_{n}$. Note that $t I-A$ is PSD exactly when all these eigenvalues are non-negative, and this happens for values $t \geq \lambda_{1}$. Thus, we can model the problem of finding the largest eigenvalue of a symmetric matrix as:

\[\begin{aligned} \lambda_{1} = \min t \\ \text { s.t. } t I-A \succeq 0 \end{aligned}\]

A = [3 2 4; 2 0 2; 4 2 3]
I = Matrix{Float64}(LinearAlgebra.I, 3, 3)
model = Model(SCS.Optimizer)
@variable(model, t)
@objective(model, Min, t)
@constraint(model, t .* I - A in PSDCone())


Other Cones and Functions

For other cones supported by JuMP, check out the MathOptInterface Manual.

View this file on Github.

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