Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Running a MIP solver on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi [1] is a small single board computer. It comes with an ARM based CPU (64 bit, quad core). You can buy it for $35 (no case included). The 4GB RAM version retailes for $55. Raspberry Pi runs some form of Linux. It is mainly used for educational purposes.


SCIP [2] is a solver for MIP (and related) models. It is only easily available for academics, using a somewhat non-standard license. As a result, I don't see it used much outside academic circles. So it can not really be called open source.

SCIP on Raspberry Pi

In [3] SCIP is used on the Rapberry Pi with 4GB of RAM. They call it an example of "Edge Computing": bring the algorithm to where it is needed [4] (opposed to moving the data to say a server).

On average SCIP is 3 to 5 times slower on an (standard or overclocked) Rasberry Pi than on a MacBook Pro laptop.

Of course the small amount of RAM means we can only solve relatively small problems. (These days what we call a small MIP problem is actually not so small).



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