Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A New Architecture for Optimization Modeling Frameworks

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1609.03488.pdf

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AbstractWe propose a new architecture for optimization modeling frameworks in which solvers are expressed as computation graphs in a framework like TensorFlow rather than as standalone programs built on a low-level linear algebra interface. Our new architecture makes it easy for modeling frameworks to support high performance computational platforms like GPUs and distributed clusters, as well as to generate solvers specialized to individual problems. Our approach is particularly well adapted to first-order and indirect optimization algorithms. We introduce cvxflow, an open-source convex optimization modeling framework in Python based on the ideas in this paper, and show that it outperforms the state of the art.

The issues addressed in this paper are typically not the ones I am struggling with most of the time. Once more an indication that “optimization modeling” has a very different meaning for different modelers.