This paper presents a novel integration of interior point cutting plane methods within branch-and-price algorithms. Unlike the classical method, columns are generated at a "central" dual solution by applying the analytic centre cutting plane method (ACCPM) on the dual of the full master problem. First, we introduce improvements to ACCPM. We propose a new procedure to recover primal feasibility after adding cuts and use, for the first-time, a dual Newton method to calculate the new analytic centre after branching. Second, we discuss the integration of ACCPM within the branch-and-price algorithm. We detail the use of ACCPM as the search goes deep in the branch and bound tree, making full utilization of past information as a warm start. We exploit dual information from ACCPM to generate incumbent feasible solutions and to guide branching. Finally, the overall approach is implemented and tested for the bin-packing problem and the capacitated facility location problem with single sourcing.
Published April 2001 , 30 pages