(196g) A New Efficient Eigenvalue Bounding Method for Convexity Detection with Applications in Global Optimization and Control | AIChE

(196g) A New Efficient Eigenvalue Bounding Method for Convexity Detection with Applications in Global Optimization and Control


Mönnigmann, M. - Presenter, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Braunschweig

We introduce a new method for the calculation of bounds on the eigenvalues of
Hessian matrices of twice continuously differentiable functions. Eigenvalue
bounds of Hessian matrices arise in a number of notoriously difficult tasks in
computational chemical engineering. For example, Hessian matrix eigenvalue
bounds are used in global nonlinear optimization, global convexity/concavity
analysis in convex optimization, and global positive/negative invariance
analysis in nonlinear control.

We stress that the improvements in computational
complexity to be stated below are only possible, because the desired Hessian
matrix eigenvalue bounds are calculated without ever calculating the Hessian
matrix itself. To the author's knowledge the proposed method is the first
Hessian-matrix-free approach to bounding Hessian matrix eigenvalues.

We start with a more precise problem statement in the next section, summarize
the methodological advances in a subsequent section, and turn to
applications in the last section.

Problem statement -
Two variants of the proposed method must be carefully distinguished from one
another. Both variants apply to twice continuously differentiable functions
f:U⊂Rn→R. Let x0
be an arbitrary point in U and let
S=[x1, x1] X … X
[xn, xn]
be an arbitrary closed hyperrectangle in U.
With the first variant we calculate bounds on the eigenvalues of the Hessian
matrix that has been evaluated at a point.
More precisely, we determine
such that
for all eigenvalues λ of ∇2f(x) evaluated at
The second variant provides bounds that apply to all eigenvalues of the
Hessian ∇2f(x) evaluated on a hyperrectangle.
More precisely, we calculate bounds
such that
for all eigenvalues λ of ∇2f(x) for all x∈S.
For brevity we refer to these two cases as the real and the interval variant
of the method, respectively. These names are chosen because the first variant
applies to real matrices ∇2f(x)∈Rn×n
and because Hessian matrices on hyperrectangles
are often approximated by interval Hessian matrices.

Advances and relation to existing methods -
Both variants of the new method are compared to
methods. Specifically, the real variant of the method is compared to
Gershgorin's circle criterion [3]
and the interval variant of the method is compared to Hertz and Rohn's method
[4,6]. Hertz and Rohn's method is known to provide tight,
i.e. the best possible, bounds on the eigenvalues of interval
matrices. We note that Hertz and Rohn's method is, however, exponentially
complex. This complexity is not surprising, since the problem of
calculating tight eigenvalue bounds for interval matrices is known to be
NP-hard [1].

In a formal proof the real variant of the method can be shown to be
one order of magnitude computationally less complex than the method due
to Gershgorin. More precisely, the proposed method
provides bounds at a complexity O(n)N(f),
where N(f) denotes the number of operations necessary to evaluate the
function f at a point x0. In contrast, the calculation of the
Hessian matrix and its eigenvalue bounds with Gershgorin's approach
requires O(n2)N(f) operations. Despite its lower
complexity, nontrivial examples exist for which the proposed method results in
bounds that are tighter than Gershgorin's bounds.

The results for the interval variant of the method
are somewhat surprising and have to be summarized more carefully. First, we
note that the
interval variant of the method belongs to
the same polynomial complexity class O(n)N(f) as its real
counterpart. Furthermore, nontrivial examples of functions exist for which the
new method provides bounds on the
eigenvalues of the Hessian matrix on hyperrectangles that are tighter
than the bounds obtained with Hertz and Rohn's method for the interval Hessian
matrix. At first sight, this claim seems to be a contradiction to the
NP-hardness and the tightness of Hertz and Rohn's method.
Closer inspection reveals that the restrictions that apply to methods
for interval Hessians do not apply here, because neither real nor
interval Hessian matrices are ever calculated in the proposed method.

Due to its polynomial complexity the interval variant of the new approach can
be expected to be of use in cases where the exponential complexity of Hertz
and Rohn's method is prohibitive.

Applications -
Bounds on eigenvalues of Hessian matrices can be used in a variety of
applications. Eigenvalues of real Hessian matrices can be used to check
sufficient optimality conditions in nonlinear programming, for example. Bounds
on eigenvalues of Hessians on hyperrectangles can be used in deterministic
approaches to global nonlinear optimization to create convex
underestimators. A famous example for such an approach is the αBB method
devloped by Floudas and coworkers [2].

In the present contribution we use an application from stability and control
theory to illustrate the use of the new method for the calculation of
eigenvalue bounds.
In stability and control theory positive definiteness - or
equivalently convexity - of quadratic forms appears in various
criteria that are based on Lyapunov functions (see e.g. [5] for an

Here we focus on the use of Hessian matrices on hyperrectangles
for the search of positive invariant sets of dynamical systems. Essentially, a
set in the domain of a nonlinear dynamical system is called positive invariant
if the system never leaves it once it entered it. We state two simple criteria
for positive invariance, which are based on the first and second order Taylor
of the nonlinear dynamical system. We show that examples exist
where positive invariance can be established with the second order but not the
first order criterion. In order to efficiently evaluate the second order
criterion, bounds on eigenvalues of Hessian matrices are calculated with the
new method proposed here.


V. D. Blondel and J. N. Tsitsiklis, A survey of computational
complexity results in systems and control,
Automatica, 36:1249-1274, 2000.

C. A. Floudas, Deterministic Global Optimization: Theory, Methods,
and Applications
, Kluwer, 1999.

S. Gerschgorin, Über die Abgrenzung der Eigenwerte einer Matrix,
Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Ser. fizmat., 6:749-754, 1931.

D. Hertz, The extreme eigenvalues and stability of real symmetric
interval matrices, IEEE Trans. Autom. Control, 37(4):532-535, 1992.

D. Hinrichsen and A. Pritchard,
Mathematical Systems Theory I,
Springer, 2005.

J. Rohn, Positive definiteness and stability of interval matrices.
SIAM J. Matrix Anal. Appl., 15(1):175-184, 1994.


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