6.1 Linear Optimization¶
The simplest optimization problem is a purely linear problem. A linear optimization problem is a problem of the following form:
Minimize or maximize the objective function
subject to the linear constraints
and the bounds
The problem description consists of the following elements:
\(m\) and \(n\) — the number of constraints and variables, respectively,
\(x\) — the variable vector of length \(n\),
\(c\) — the coefficient vector of length \(n\)
\[\begin{split}c = \left[ \begin{array}{c} c_0 \\ \vdots \\ c_{n1} \end{array} \right],\end{split}\]\(c^f\) — fixed term in the objective,
\(A\) — an \(m\times n\) matrix of coefficients
\[\begin{split}A = \left[ \begin{array}{ccc} a_{0,0} & \cdots & a_{0,(n1)} \\ \vdots & \cdots & \vdots \\ a_{(m1),0} & \cdots & a_{(m1),(n1)} \end{array} \right],\end{split}\]\(l^c\) and \(u^c\) — the lower and upper bounds on constraints,
\(l^x\) and \(u^x\) — the lower and upper bounds on variables.
Please note that we are using \(0\) as the first index: \(x_0\) is the first element in variable vector \(x\).
6.1.1 Example LO1¶
The following is an example of a small linear optimization problem:
under the bounds
Solving the problem
To solve the problem above we go through the following steps:
(Optionally) Create an environment.
Create an optimization task.
Load a problem into the task object.
Optimization.
Extracting the solution.
Below we explain each of these steps.
Create an environment.
The user can start by creating a MOSEK environment, but it is not necessary if the user does not need access to other functionalities, license management, additional routines, etc. Therefore in this tutorial we don’t create an explicit environment.
Create an optimization task.
We create an empty task object. A task object represents all the data (inputs, outputs, parameters, information items etc.) associated with one optimization problem.
# Create a task object
with mosek.Task() as task:
# Attach a log stream printer to the task
task.set_Stream(mosek.streamtype.log, streamprinter)
We also connect a callback function to the task log stream. Messages related to the task are passed to the callback function. In this case the stream callback function writes its messages to the standard output stream. See Sec. 7.4 (Input/Output).
Load a problem into the task object.
Before any problem data can be set, variables and constraints must be added to the problem via calls to the functions Task.appendcons
and Task.appendvars
.
# Append 'numcon' empty constraints.
# The constraints will initially have no bounds.
task.appendcons(numcon)
# Append 'numvar' variables.
# The variables will initially be fixed at zero (x=0).
task.appendvars(numvar)
New variables can now be referenced from other functions with indexes in \(0, \ldots, \mathtt{numvar}1\) and new constraints can be referenced with indexes in \(0, \ldots , \mathtt{numcon}1\). More variables and/or constraints can be appended later as needed, these will be assigned indexes from \(\mathtt{numvar}\)/\(\mathtt{numcon}\) and up.
Next step is to set the problem data. We loop over each variable index \(j=0, \ldots, \mathtt{numvar}1\) calling functions to set problem data. We first set the objective coefficient \(c_j = \mathtt{c[j]}\) by calling the function Task.putcj
.
task.putcj(j, c[j])
Setting bounds on variables
The bounds on variables are stored in the arrays
# Bound keys for variables
bkx = [mosek.boundkey.lo,
mosek.boundkey.ra,
mosek.boundkey.lo,
mosek.boundkey.lo]
# Bound values for variables
blx = [0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0]
bux = [+inf, 10.0, +inf, +inf]
and are set with calls to Task.putvarbound
.
# Set the bounds on variable j
# blx[j] <= x_j <= bux[j]
task.putvarbound(j, bkx[j], blx[j], bux[j])
The Bound key stored in bkx
specifies the type of the bound according to Table 6.1.
Bound key 
Type of bound 
Lower bound 
Upper bound 

\(u_j = l_j\) 
Finite 
Identical to the lower bound 

Free 
\(\infty\) 
\(+\infty\) 

\(l_j \leq \cdots\) 
Finite 
\(+\infty\) 

\(l_j \leq \cdots \leq u_j\) 
Finite 
Finite 

\(\cdots \leq u_j\) 
\(\infty\) 
Finite 
For instance bkx[0]=
boundkey.lo
means that \(x_0 \geq l_0^x\). Finally, the numerical values of the bounds on variables are given by
and
Defining the linear constraint matrix.
Recall that in our example the \(A\) matrix is given by
This matrix is stored in sparse format in the arrays:
asub = [[0, 1],
[0, 1, 2],
[0, 1],
[1, 2]]
aval = [[3.0, 2.0],
[1.0, 1.0, 2.0],
[2.0, 3.0],
[1.0, 3.0]]
The array aval[j]
contains the nonzero values of column \(j\) and asub[j]
contains the row indices of these nonzeros.
Using the function Task.putacol
we set column \(j\) of \(A\)
task.putacol(j, # Variable (column) index.
asub[j], # Row index of nonzeros in column j.
aval[j]) # Nonzero Values of column j.
There are many alternative formats for entering the \(A\) matrix. See functions such as Task.putarow
, Task.putarowlist
, Task.putaijlist
and similar.
Finally, the bounds on each constraint are set by looping over each constraint index \(i= 0, \ldots,\mathtt{numcon}1\)
# Set the bounds on constraints.
# blc[i] <= constraint_i <= buc[i]
for i in range(numcon):
task.putconbound(i, bkc[i], blc[i], buc[i])
Optimization
After the problem is setup the task can be optimized by calling the function Task.optimize
.
task.optimize()
Extracting the solution.
After optimizing the status of the solution is examined with a call to Task.getsolsta
. If the solution status is reported as solsta.optimal
the solution is extracted in the lines below:
xx = task.getxx(mosek.soltype.bas)
The Task.getxx
function obtains the solution. MOSEK may compute several solutions depending on the optimizer employed. In this example the basic solution is requested by setting the first argument to soltype.bas
.
Catching exceptions
We catch any exceptions thrown by MOSEK in the lines:
except mosek.Error as e:
print("ERROR: %s" % str(e.errno))
if e.msg is not None:
print("\t%s" % e.msg)
sys.exit(1)
The types of exceptions that MOSEK can throw can be seen in Sec. 15.5 (Exceptions). See also Sec. 7.3 (Errors and exceptions).
Source code
The complete source code lo1.py
of this example appears below. See also lo2.py
for a version where the \(A\) matrix is entered rowwise.
import sys
import mosek
# Since the value of infinity is ignored, we define it solely
# for symbolic purposes
inf = 0.0
# Define a stream printer to grab output from MOSEK
def streamprinter(text):
sys.stdout.write(text)
sys.stdout.flush()
def main():
# Create a task object
with mosek.Task() as task:
# Attach a log stream printer to the task
task.set_Stream(mosek.streamtype.log, streamprinter)
# Bound keys for constraints
bkc = [mosek.boundkey.fx,
mosek.boundkey.lo,
mosek.boundkey.up]
# Bound values for constraints
blc = [30.0, 15.0, inf]
buc = [30.0, +inf, 25.0]
# Bound keys for variables
bkx = [mosek.boundkey.lo,
mosek.boundkey.ra,
mosek.boundkey.lo,
mosek.boundkey.lo]
# Bound values for variables
blx = [0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0]
bux = [+inf, 10.0, +inf, +inf]
# Objective coefficients
c = [3.0, 1.0, 5.0, 1.0]
# Below is the sparse representation of the A
# matrix stored by column.
asub = [[0, 1],
[0, 1, 2],
[0, 1],
[1, 2]]
aval = [[3.0, 2.0],
[1.0, 1.0, 2.0],
[2.0, 3.0],
[1.0, 3.0]]
numvar = len(bkx)
numcon = len(bkc)
# Append 'numcon' empty constraints.
# The constraints will initially have no bounds.
task.appendcons(numcon)
# Append 'numvar' variables.
# The variables will initially be fixed at zero (x=0).
task.appendvars(numvar)
for j in range(numvar):
# Set the linear term c_j in the objective.
task.putcj(j, c[j])
# Set the bounds on variable j
# blx[j] <= x_j <= bux[j]
task.putvarbound(j, bkx[j], blx[j], bux[j])
# Input column j of A
task.putacol(j, # Variable (column) index.
asub[j], # Row index of nonzeros in column j.
aval[j]) # Nonzero Values of column j.
# Set the bounds on constraints.
# blc[i] <= constraint_i <= buc[i]
for i in range(numcon):
task.putconbound(i, bkc[i], blc[i], buc[i])
# Input the objective sense (minimize/maximize)
task.putobjsense(mosek.objsense.maximize)
# Solve the problem
task.optimize()
# Print a summary containing information
# about the solution for debugging purposes
task.solutionsummary(mosek.streamtype.msg)
# Get status information about the solution
solsta = task.getsolsta(mosek.soltype.bas)
if (solsta == mosek.solsta.optimal):
xx = task.getxx(mosek.soltype.bas)
print("Optimal solution: ")
for i in range(numvar):
print("x[" + str(i) + "]=" + str(xx[i]))
elif (solsta == mosek.solsta.dual_infeas_cer or
solsta == mosek.solsta.prim_infeas_cer):
print("Primal or dual infeasibility certificate found.\n")
elif solsta == mosek.solsta.unknown:
print("Unknown solution status")
else:
print("Other solution status")
# call the main function
try:
main()
except mosek.Error as e:
print("ERROR: %s" % str(e.errno))
if e.msg is not None:
print("\t%s" % e.msg)
sys.exit(1)
except:
import traceback
traceback.print_exc()
sys.exit(1)