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Competitive analysis is a well known method for analyzing online algorithms.
Two online optimization problems, the scheduling problems and the list accessing problems, are considered in the thesis of Yida Zhu in the respect of this method.
For both problems, several existing online and offline algorithms are studied. Their performances are compared with the performances of corresponding offline optimal algorithms.
In particular, the list accessing algorithm BIT is carefully reviewed.
The classical proof of its worst case performance get simplified by adapting the knowledge about the optimal offline algorithm.
With regard to average case analysis, a new closed formula is developed to determine the performance of BIT on specific class of instances.
All algorithm considered in this thesis are also implemented in Julia.
Their empirical performances are studied and compared with each other directly.

We consider a linear regression model for which we assume that some of the observed variables are irrelevant for the prediction. Including the wrong variables in the statistical model can either lead to the problem of having too little information to properly estimate the statistic of interest, or having too much information and consequently describing fictitious connections. This thesis considers discrete optimization to conduct a variable selection. In light of this, the subset selection regression method is analyzed. The approach gained a lot of interest in recent years due to its promising predictive performance. A major challenge associated with the subset selection regression is the computational difficulty. In this thesis, we propose several improvements for the efficiency of the method. Novel bounds on the coefficients of the subset selection regression are developed, which help to tighten the relaxation of the associated mixed-integer program, which relies on a Big-M formulation. Moreover, a novel mixed-integer linear formulation for the subset selection regression based on a bilevel optimization reformulation is proposed. Finally, it is shown that the perspective formulation of the subset selection regression is equivalent to a state-of-the-art binary formulation. We use this insight to develop novel bounds for the subset selection regression problem, which show to be highly effective in combination with the proposed linear formulation.
In the second part of this thesis, we examine the statistical conception of the subset selection regression and conclude that it is misaligned with its intention. The subset selection regression uses the training error to decide on which variables to select. The approach conducts the validation on the training data, which oftentimes is not a good estimate of the prediction error. Hence, it requires a predetermined cardinality bound. Instead, we propose to select variables with respect to the cross-validation value. The process is formulated as a mixed-integer program with the sparsity becoming subject of the optimization. Usually, a cross-validation is used to select the best model out of a few options. With the proposed program the best model out of all possible models is selected. Since the cross-validation is a much better estimate of the prediction error, the model can select the best sparsity itself.
The thesis is concluded with an extensive simulation study which provides evidence that discrete optimization can be used to produce highly valuable predictive models with the cross-validation subset selection regression almost always producing the best results.

Many NP-hard optimization problems that originate from classical graph theory, such as the maximum stable set problem and the maximum clique problem, have been extensively studied over the past decades and involve the choice of a subset of edges or vertices. There usually exist combinatorial methods that can be applied to solve them directly in the graph.
The most simple method is to enumerate feasible solutions and select the best. It is not surprising that this method is very slow oftentimes, so the task is to cleverly discard fruitless search space during the search. An alternative method to solve graph problems is to formulate integer linear programs, such that their solution yields an optimal solution to the original optimization problem in the graph. In order to solve integer linear programs, one can start with relaxing the integer constraints and then try to find inequalities for cutting off fractional extreme points. In the best case, it would be possible to describe the convex hull of the feasible region of the integer linear program with a set of inequalities. In general, giving a complete description of this convex hull is out of reach, even if it has a polynomial number of facets. Thus, one tries to strengthen the (weak) relaxation of the integer linear program best possible via strong inequalities that are valid for the convex hull of feasible integer points.
Many classes of valid inequalities are of exponential size. For instance, a graph can have exponentially many odd cycles in general and therefore the number of odd cycle inequalities for the maximum stable set problem is exponential. It is sometimes possible to check in polynomial time if some given point violates any of the exponentially many inequalities. This is indeed the case for the odd cycle inequalities for the maximum stable set problem. If a polynomial time separation algorithm is known, there exists a formulation of polynomial size that contains a given point if and only if it does not violate one of the (potentially exponentially many) inequalities. This thesis can be divided into two parts. The first part is the main part and it contains various new results. We present new extended formulations for several optimization problems, i.e. the maximum stable set problem, the nonconvex quadratic program with box
constraints and the p-median problem. In the second part we modify a very fast algorithm for finding a maximum clique in very large sparse graphs. We suggest and compare three alternative versions of this algorithm to the original version and compare their strengths and weaknesses.

Die Dissertation beschäftigt sich mit einer neuartigen Art von Branch-and-Bound Algorithmen, deren Unterschied zu klassischen Branch-and-Bound Algorithmen darin besteht, dass
das Branching durch die Addition von nicht-negativen Straftermen zur Zielfunktion erfolgt
anstatt durch das Hinzufügen weiterer Nebenbedingungen. Die Arbeit zeigt die theoretische Korrektheit des Algorithmusprinzips für verschiedene allgemeine Klassen von Problemen und evaluiert die Methode für verschiedene konkrete Problemklassen. Für diese Problemklassen, genauer Monotone und Nicht-Monotone Gemischtganzzahlige Lineare Komplementaritätsprobleme und Gemischtganzzahlige Lineare Probleme, präsentiert die Arbeit
verschiedene problemspezifische Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten und evaluiert diese numerisch.
Weiterhin vergleicht die Arbeit die neue Methode mit verschiedenen Benchmark-Methoden
mit größtenteils guten Ergebnissen und gibt einen Ausblick auf weitere Anwendungsgebiete
und zu beantwortende Forschungsfragen.

The publication of statistical databases is subject to legal regulations, e.g. national statistical offices are only allowed to publish data if the data cannot be attributed to individuals. Achieving this privacy standard requires anonymizing the data prior to publication. However, data anonymization inevitably leads to a loss of information, which should be kept minimal. In this thesis, we analyze the anonymization method SAFE used in the German census in 2011 and we propose a novel integer programming-based anonymization method for nominal data.
In the first part of this thesis, we prove that a fundamental variant of the underlying SAFE optimization problem is NP-hard. This justifies the use of heuristic approaches for large data sets. In the second part, we propose a new anonymization method belonging to microaggregation methods, specifically designed for nominal data. This microaggregation method replaces rows in a microdata set with representative values to achieve k-anonymity, ensuring each data row is identical to at least k − 1 other rows. In addition to the overall dissimilarities of the data rows, the method accounts for errors in resulting frequency tables, which are of high interest for nominal data in practice. The method employs a typical two-step structure: initially partitioning the data set into clusters and subsequently replacing all cluster elements with representative values to achieve k-anonymity. For the partitioning step, we propose a column generation scheme followed by a heuristic to obtain an integer solution, which is based on the dual information. For the aggregation step, we present a mixed-integer problem formulation to find cluster representatives. To this end, we take errors in a subset of frequency tables into account. Furthermore, we show a reformulation of the problem to a minimum edge-weighted maximal clique problem in a multipartite graph, which allows for a different perspective on the problem. Moreover, we formulate a mixed-integer program, which combines the partitioning and the aggregation step and aims to minimize the sum of chi-squared errors in frequency tables.
Finally, an experimental study comparing the methods covered or developed in this work shows particularly strong results for the proposed method with respect to relative criteria, while SAFE shows its strength with respect to the maximum absolute error in frequency tables. We conclude that the inclusion of integer programming in the context of data anonymization is a promising direction to reduce the inevitable information loss inherent in anonymization, particularly for nominal data.