Any LP problem can be formulated as:

 begin{array}{lc} min & c^Tx  textrm{subject to} &  Ax = b  & l leq x leq u end{array}

Some of the simple bounds l_j, u_j may be -infty, infty Define L  = { j : l_j > -infty} hspace{0.1in} and U = { j : u_j < infty}

Then the constraints of the LP are:

     begin{array}{cl}  Ax^* &= b   A^T + y^* &= c   (x_j^*-l_j)z_j^*& = 0    (u_j-x_j^*)z_j^*& = 0   z_j^* &geq 0 hspace{0.1in} forall hspace{0.1in} j hspace{0.1in} in hspace{0.1in} mbox{L}   z_j^* &leq 0 hspace{0.1in} forall hspace{0.1in} j hspace{0.1in} in hspace{0.1in} mbox{U}  z_j^* &= 0 hspace{0.1in} forall hspace{0.1in} j hspace{0.1in} notin hspace{0.1in} L cup U      end{array}.

We want a pre-solve procedure that would reduce the size of A without creating new non-zero terms. This also means that linear transformations are not allowed but changes to c,b,l,u are.

We make several passes through A and remove redundancies as and when they are detected. Some types of redundancies are easily understood and we will look at few of them.

Redundancies in LP

Empty Rows/Columns

When a row i is empty, either the constraint is redundant or infeasible.

When a column j is empty, depending on the bounds on the variable and the objective function, the variable x_j can either be fixed at its bounds or is unbounded.
Row Singletons

  exists (i,k) textrm{ s.t. } a_{ij} = 0 hspace{0.1in} forall j neq k, a_{ik} neq 0
Here, the i^{th} constraint fixes the variable x_k at the value - frac{b_i}{a_{ik}} Thus we can substitute x_k out of the system and reduce the number of variables by one Thus, one reduction could possibly lead to several others and to exploit this, we need to keep a count of number of non-zeros in each constraint and a list containing all singleton constraints. Every time we fix a variable, the number of non-zeros is updated and the new singleton constraints that arise are added to the list.
Column Singletons
      exists (j,k) textrm{ s.t. }  a_{ij} = 0 hspace{0.1in} forall i neq k, a_{kj} neq 0

A free column singleton occurs on variable j when both l_j = -infty and u_j = infty. Here again we can substitute:

      x_j = frac{b_k - displaystylesum_{p neq j} a_{kp}x_p}{a_{kj}}

Removal of column singletons is very advantageous as they result in the removal of one variable and also one constraint.

Another possibility is a Doubleton Equation combined with a column singleton :

      exists (i,j,k) : a_{ij}x_j + a_{ik}x_k = b_i , hspace{0.1in} j neq k,hspace{0.1in} a_{ij} neq 0,hspace{0.1in} a_{ik} neq 0

In this case, when x_k is a column singleton we can modify bounds on x_j such that feasible region is unchanged when bounds on x_k are removed. ‘ Whenever our Presolve procedure detects a column singleton x_j, we try to establish that it is implied free. A variable is implied free if we can construct new bounds, that are at least as tight as the original bounds. A candidate pair of bounds for the variable is calculated for each a_{ij} as -

     begin{array}{cc}     u_{ij} = & frac{b_i - displaystylesum_{k in P_{ij} } a_{ik}l_k - displaystylesum_{p in M_{ij}} a_{ik}u_k }{a_{ij}},hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} > 0      u_{ij} = & frac{b_i - displaystylesum_{k in P_{ij} } a_{ik}u_k - displaystylesum_{p in M_{ij}} a_{ik}l_k }{a_{ij}},hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} < 0           l_{ij} = & frac{b_i - displaystylesum_{k in P_{ij} } a_{ik}l_k - displaystylesum_{p in M_{ij}} a_{ik}u_k }{a_{ij}},hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} < 0      l_{ij} = & frac{b_i - displaystylesum_{k in P_{ij} } a_{ik}u_k -displaystyle sum_{p in M_{ij}} a_{ik}l_k }{a_{ij}},hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} > 0      end{array}

For any feasible solution x, it is easy to observe that l_{ij} leq x_j leq u_{ij}. Thus, we have an implied free column singleton if - l_j leq l_{kj} leq u_{kj} leq u_j

Forcing and Dominating Constraints

Let P_i = {i : a_{ij} > 0} and M_i = {i : a_{ij} < 0}. Let's compute the quantities:

 begin{array}{cc}     g_{i} = & sum_{j in P_{i} } a_{ij}l_j - sum_{j in M_{i}} a_{ij}u_j      h_{i} = & sum_{j in M_{i} } a_{ij}l_j - sum_{j in P_{i}} a_{ij}u_j  end{array}

Clearly, g_i leq sum a_{ij}x_j leq h_i for any solution x. Now if h_i < b_i or g_i > b_i, we have an unfeasible constraint.

A forcing constraint is one where g_i = b_i or h_i = b_i. Here, the value of x_j is fixed at its bounds according to the sign of a_{ij} and thus we can fix all variables that occur in the i^{th} constraint.

Removal of Forcing Constraints is highly advantageous as they we remove all variables that are structurally degenerate. We can also use this to detect more column singletons and we can determine l_{ij}', u_{ij}' for appropriate cases when a_{ij} neq 0 and when g_i or h_i is finite.

 begin{array}{cc}     u_{ij} = & frac{b_i - g_i}{a_{ij}} + l_j, hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} > 0      u_{ij} = & frac{b_i - h_i}{a_{ij}} + l_j, hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} < 0              l_{ij} = & frac{b_i - h_i}{a_{ij}} + u_j, hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} > 0      l_{ij} = & frac{b_i - g_i}{a_{ij}} + u_j, hspace{0.1in}  a_{ij} < 0        end{array}

This is called the Dominated Constraint Procedure. Similarly there are concepts of Dominated Columns and Forcing Columns elaborately discussed in the paper by Andersen.

Algorithm for LP

  1. Remove all fixed variables

  2. Repeat

    1. Check Rows

      1. Remove Row Singletons

      2. Remove Forcing Constraints

    2. Dominated Constraints

      1. Remove all dominated constraints

    3. Check Columns

      1. Remove all free, implied free column singletons

      2. Remove column singleton-double combinations

    4. Dominated Columns

    5. Duplicate Rows

    6. Duplicate Columns

  3. Until no reduction in last pass

  4. Remove all empty rows and columns

We also need to maintain a 'stack’ of presolve operations and undo a reduction such that, if the primal and dual solutions to the reduced problem are optimal and feasible, so is the solution to the restored problem.

This constitutes a Post-solve procedure to recover solutions to the orginial problem, after we have solved the reduced LP.

Each of the operations in pre-solve has a corresponding post-solve procedure whereby we 'unfix’ the fixed variable x_j or constraint i at each iteration.