Linear superiorization considers linear programming problems but instead of attempting to solve them with linear optimization methods it employs perturbation resilient feasibility-seeking algorithms and steers them toward reduced (not necessarily minimal) target function values. The two questions that we set out to explore experimentally are (i) Does linear superiorization provide a feasible point whose linear target function value is lower than that obtained by running the same feasibility-seeking algorithm without superiorization under identical conditions? and (ii) How does linear superiorization fare in comparison with the Simplex method for solving linear programming problems? Based on our computational experiments presented here, the answers to these two questions are: “yes” and “very well”, respectively.
Linear superiorization (abbreviated: LinSup) considers linear programming (LP) problems wherein the constraints as well as the objective function are linear. It allows to steer the iterates of a feasibilityseeking iterative process toward feasible points that have lower (not necessarily minimal) values of the objective function than points that would have been reached by the same feasiblity-seeking iterative process without superiorization. Using a feasibility-seeking iterative process that converges even if the linear feasible set is empty, LinSup generates an iterative sequence that converges to a point that minimizes a proximity function which measures the linear constraints violation. In addition, due to LinSup’s repeated objective function reduction steps such a point will most probably have a reduced objective function value. We present an exploratory experimental result that illustrates the behavior of LinSup on an infeasible LP problem.