Studies integrating geometry, probability, and optimization under convexity
Author(s)Nogueira, Alexandre Belloni
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Operations Research Center.
Robert M. Freund.
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Convexity has played a major role in a variety of fields over the past decades. Nevertheless, the convexity assumption continues to reveal new theoretical paradigms and applications. This dissertation explores convexity in the intersection of three fields, namely, geometry, probability, and optimization. We study in depth a variety of geometric quantities. These quantities are used to describe the behavior of different algorithms. In addition, we investigate how to algorithmically manipulate these geometric quantities. This leads to algorithms capable of transforming ill-behaved instances into well-behaved ones. In particular, we provide probabilistic methods that carry out such task efficiently by exploiting the geometry of the problem. More specific contributions of this dissertation are as follows. (i) We conduct a broad exploration of the symmetry function of convex sets and propose efficient methods for its computation in the polyhedral case. (ii) We also relate the symmetry function with the computational complexity of an interior-point method to solve a homogeneous conic system. (iii) Moreover, we develop a family of pre-conditioners based on the symmetry function and projective transformations for such interior-point method.(cont.) The implementation of the pre-conditioners relies on geometric random walks. (iv) We developed the analysis of the re-scaled perceptron algorithm for a linear conic system. In this method a sequence of linear transformations is used to increase a condition measure associated with the problem. (v) Finally, we establish properties relating a probability density induced by an arbitrary norm and the geometry of its support. This is used to construct an efficient simulating annealing algorithm to test whether a convex set is bounded, where the set is represented only by a membership oracle.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Operations Research Center, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (p. 197-202).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Operations Research Center.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Operations Research Center.