Convex Optimization is a special case of mathematical optimization. It includes Linear Programming and least-squares.

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Proving a Set Convex

I am trying to prove a set is convex. This is a problem from Boyd's Convex Optimization text. The set is $\{\hat{x} + tv | \alpha t^2 + \beta t + \gamma \leq 0\}$. This is actually an intersection of ...
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Is there a way to measure how (non)convex a function is, maybe analogous to condition number?

Consider the functions $f(x) = \sin x$ and $g(x) = (x+1)^2 (x-1)^2$. We know that $f$ has an infinite number of local minimizers and is nonconvex on a non-compact subset of $R$. We know that $g$ has ...
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Reference for elementary result in optimization

Let $U(\mathbf{z})$ be a convex, twice differentiable function, and $F(\mathbf{z},\mathbf{q})$ be convex and twice differentiable separately in $\mathbf{z}$ and $\mathbf{q}$. Consider the problem of ...
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Variational characterization of nuclear norm

The nuclear norm $||\cdot||_{*}$ of a matrix is defined as the sum of its singular values. Working from the result at the bottom of this blog post, we have, for a matrix $\mathbf{X}$ and its ...
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Constrained nonlinear optimization

I am wondering what is the easiest/best way to find the values of $x_i$ that maximize the expression $\sum_{i=1}^N a_i \ln (x_i)$ under the constraints $\sum_{i=1}^Nx_i = 1$ and $ 0\leq x_i \leq 1$ ...
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How to prove the matrix fractional function is convex by definition

It is well known that the matrix fractional function $f(\mathbf{w},\boldsymbol{\Omega})=\mathbf{w}^T\boldsymbol{\Omega}^{-1}\mathbf{w}$ is jointly convex with respect to $\mathbf{w}$ and $\boldsymbol{\...
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Gordans lemma seperation [duplicate]

Let $A$ be an $m × n$ matrix. Recall that Gordan’s lemma states that the system $$\{d : Ad < 0\}$$ is inconsistent if and only if the system $$λ ≥ 0 ∈ R ^m , λ \not= 0, A ^T λ = 0$$ is consistent. ...
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A complex optimization problem (maximize determinant of matrix)

Background Assume we have a 2 columned matrix ${\bf P}$ and this matrix can be written as $${\bf P}= [ {\bf p_1 \,\,\,\, p_2}]$$ where ${\bf p_1}$ is the first column (vector) of ${\bf P}$ and ${\bf ...
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Maximum overlap of two convex bodies

Let $\Delta_n=\big\{(x_1,x_2,\ldots,x_n): \sum_i x_i \leq 1, x_i \geq 0\big\}$ denote an n-dimensional simplex. I am trying to find an $y \in \mathbb{R}^n$ such that the $y-$shifted negative simplex ...
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Center of mass of vertices without enumeration?

Given a $n$-dimensional convex polytope defined by $A x\leq b$ and $A_{eq} x = b_{eq}$, is there an efficient way to determine the average coordinates of all vertices without enumerating them? (As if ...
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Submodular function, square of which is also submodular?

A Submodular function $ f:2^E \rightarrow R $ is a function that satisfies the following two equivalent definitions: for every $ S,T\subseteq E: f(S) + f(T) \geq f(S\cup T)+f(S\cap T) $ for every $ ...
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If this problem is not unbounded, what's wrong in this dual derivation?

In a paper with 100 citation, Robust Support Vector Machine Training via Convex outlier Ablation, a convex relaxation is used. In this paper, a form of robust svm proposed: \begin{align} \min_{0\leq \...
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Is minmax equivalent to maxmin?

More precisely, problem $1$ is as follows: \begin{eqnarray} &\max_{1{\le}i{\le}N}\min_{[\gamma_m^i]}\left[\lambda_i - \sum_{m=1}^M\phi_m\gamma_m^iF_m^i\right] \\ &\mbox{subject to} \sum_{i=1}^...
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Is $K =\{ S: \exists \text{ positive diagonal} D, D^TSD \;\text{diagonally dominant}\}$ convex?

I am doing some convex cone optimization and wonder whether the following set $K_1$ is convex or not. Assume the following matrices are all in $\mathbb{R}^{n\times n}$ and symmetric. Let the set of ...
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On the solutions of a system of inequalities avoiding Helly's theorem

Let $a_1,b_1,\cdots,a_4,b_4\in\mathbb{R},r_1,\cdots,r_4\in(0,+\infty)$. Show that, if $\not\exists (x,y)\in\mathbb{R}^2$ such that $$ \begin{cases} (x-a_1)^2+(y-b_1)^2\le r_1\\ (x-a_2)^2+(y-b_2)...
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Are these equivalent definitions of faces of convex sets?

I consulted several books and found that the definitions of faces and exposed faces of convex sets are a bit messy. Many books just treat them as the same stuff. In book "foundations of optimization",...
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Online stochastic convex optimization.

I need to find/approximate the argument that minimizes a stochastic convex function $F(\theta, Z)$: $$ {\arg\min_{\theta}} E_{Z}[ F(\theta, Z) ]$$ Where $Z$ is some random variable (we could assume ...
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Proving or disproving concavity of a function

I want to prove that the following function is concave (as a part of another proof). $$f(p) = \max_{\begin{matrix}x,y\\0\le x \le 1\\0\le y \le 1 \\ x * y = p\end{matrix}} \lambda h(x) + \bar{\...
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Dynamic programming problem for discrete linear time varying system

I'm working on a linear time varying discrete(LTV) multi input multi output(mimo) system. I formulate the problem description in the following way $$x_i(k+1) = x_i(k)\cdot A_i(k) + B_i(k)\cdot u_i(k)$...
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Conic hull of outer products

Consider the set of rank-k outer products, defined as $\{XX^T | X \in R^{n\times k}, rankX = k \}$. Describe its connic hull in simple terms. I have found the solution of this exercise but I have ...
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Upper bound on maximum absolute value of all subdeterminants of a matrix

Let $A \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}$ and let $\Delta(A)$ be the maximal absolute value of the determinants of the square submatrices of $A$. A simple lower bound would be $$ \Delta(A) \geq \underset{i,...
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The difference between affine set and affine hull

According to the definition of affine hull and affine set. $$aff [C] = [\theta_1x_1+...+\theta_nx_n|x_1,...x_n \in C, \theta_1+.....
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Normalize gradient

I want to minimize a function $f \, : \, \mathbb{R}^{N} \, \longrightarrow \, \mathbb{R}$ (with $N \in \mathbb{N}^{\ast}$. In my problem, $N = 315$). I know that $f$ is differentiable on $\mathbb{R}^{...
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Complexity analysis of convex optimization problem

I am studying an optimization problem \begin{equation} \mathbf{x}^*=\text{argmax}\quad\sum_{d=1}^{D}\log(\mathbf{a}_d^T\mathbf{x}+b)+\mathbf{c}_d^T\mathbf{x}+f_d\\ \text{subject to}\quad \mathbf{f}...
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Strong duality: When does the optimal primal variable coincide with the primal variable giving the dual function.

I'm considering the inequality-constrained optimization problem of finding $$ x^{\star} = \arg \min_{x} f(x) \;\; \text{s.t.} \;\; h(x) \le 0 $$ which is assumed to have a unique minimizer. The ...
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The importance of the full-row-rank assumption for the simplex method

Consider a linear programming model in the usual form ready for applying the simplex method. I understand that having the constraint equations' coefficient matrix $A$ be of full row rank means not ...
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Lagrange dual of a sum of convex functions

Given a set of convex functions $f_i(x)$ and convex sets $X_i$ in $\mathbb R^n$ I need to find the Lagrange dual problem for the problem $\min \sum{f_i(x)} , x \in X_i \forall i$. There is of course ...
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Solving optimization problems using derivatives and critical points

I have a homework question which I have completed 2/3 of; however I am stuck on the last part of the question. The question is: A drug used to treat cancer is effective at low doses with an ...
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Is the optimizer of a strongly-convex cost function bounded?

Let f(x) be strongly-convex. Can its minimizer be unbounded? I suspect not. Can we obtain a bound on it in relation to the strong-convexity constant? I believe an equivalent formulation of this ...
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Rewrite constrained optimization objective

I wanted to ask, under which conditions can one rewrite the optimization objective $\min_x f(x)\;\;\;s.t.\;\;\;g(x) \leq s$ as $\min_x g(x)\;\;\;s.t.\;\;\;f(x) \leq t$ I have particular interest ...
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Does convexity of a function guarantee tractability of finding its minimum?

Formulating a problem as a convex optimization problem usually implicitly considered to imply being able to find global minimizer of the objective. My question is that if it is true or not. ...
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SDP relaxation of non-convex QCQP and duality gap

Short version Is there a duality gap between a QCQP problem and the SDP problem obtained through Lagrangian relaxation? A paper I'm studying is using this fact, but I cannot achieve the authors' ...
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minimization problem on differential equations - optimal control

I am trying to minimize an time-integral of a linear function with respect to differential equations. The problem is formally defined as follows: Given $\lambda< \mu_1, \mu_2$ fixed parameters(...
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On the duality gap for quasiconvex optimisation problems

This stack exchange question got me thinking about quasiconvex analysis. Given a compact,convex subset $X\subset \mathbb{R}^n$ and a quasiconvex function $f:X\rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ Define the ...
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How to show that a function is piecewise linear

Let z(t) = min $(c+t d)^T x$ s.t $Ax <= b$ Show that Z(t) is a concave, piecewise linear function of t. I'm really not sure how to even start proving this, I would really ...
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sufficient condition for KKT problems

For the Karush-Kuhn Tucker optimsation problem, Wikipedia notes that: "The necessary conditions are sufficient for optimality if the objective function f and the inequality constraints g_j are ...
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Global optimum of sum of convex functions

Take two real differentiable convex functions, $f_1$ and $f_2$, defined on the unit interval $[0; 1]$. I want to find the global optimum of: $\min_{x \in [0;1]} af_1(x)+bf_2(x)$, for given $a, b \in \...
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How to calculate the maximal ellipsoid in a given polyhedron

I am faced with the problem of finding the ellipsoid $B$ ($B$ is a symmetric positive definite matrix) of maximal volume within a convex set $C$ given as a set of linear inequalities $C=\{x| a_i^T x \...
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Convex minimization over the Unit Simplex

I have a simple (few variables), continuous, twice differentiable convex function that I wish to minimize over the unit simplex. In other words, $\min. f(\mathbf{x})$, $\text{s.t. } \mathbf{0} \preceq ...
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Convexity of a trace of matrices with respect to diagonal elements

Can we prove that $\mbox{trace}({\bf A} ({\bf P}+{\bf Q})^{-1} {\bf A}^T)$ is a jointly convex function of positive variables $[q_1,q_i,...,q_N]$, where ${\bf Q}=\mbox{diag}(q_1,...,q_N)$, $q_i&...
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Derivation of soft thresholding operator

I was going through the derivation of soft threholding at http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22893361/papers/Soft%20Threshold%20Proof.pdf. It says the three unique solutions for $\operatorname{arg ...
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Is this set convex ?2

Is this set convex for every arbitrary $\alpha\in \mathbb R$? $$\Big\{(x_1,x_2)\in \mathbb R^2_{++} \,\Big|\, x_1x_2\geq \alpha\Big\}$$ Where $\mathbb R^2_{++}=[0,+\infty)\times [0,+\infty)$.
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What is the motivation behind strong convexity

Definition : A function is said to be $\beta$-strongly convex if, $f(\theta w + (1-\theta) w') \le \theta f(w) + (1-\theta) f(w') - \frac{\beta}{2}\theta(1-\theta)(w-w')^2$ What is the motivation ...
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What is the dual of this optimization problem?

Consider the points $x_1, \ldots, x_N \in \mathbb{R}^n$, and a (locally bounded, convex) function $f: \mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$. I am looking for the dual of the following optimization ...
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Is this necessarily true for a convex function?

$$\sum_{s \in V} \lambda_sf(s) \geq f(\sum_{s \in V} s\lambda_s)$$ $V$ is a set of points and corresponding to each point in $V$, there is a $\lambda_s$ which is a scalar so $\sum_{s \in V} s\...
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Convert any convex optimization problem to a linear objective

Wikipedia claims that: Any convex optimization problem can be transformed into minimizing (or maximizing) a linear function over a convex set by converting to the epigraph form. Is there a ...
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linear approximation with respect to L1 norm

I am trying to solve this problem: Find the best $L^1$ linear approximation of $e^x$ on [0,1] i.e. minimize $\int_0^1|e^x-\alpha-\beta x| dx$ any hints how to proceed
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Does every strongly convex function has a stationary point?

Say does every differentiable $\mu$-strongly convex function $f:\mathbb{R}^n\mapsto\mathbb{R}$, with $\mu>0$ have a point where its gradient is $0$? If not so which is the minimum you can impose ...
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Every concave function that is nonnegative on its domain is log-concave?

This is a statment from Wiki. I'm not sure why this is true: If: $f(\theta x+(1-\theta y) \geq \theta f( x) + (1-\theta)f(y)$ And $f(\cdot) \geq 0$ then: $$f(\theta x+(1-\theta y) \geq f( x)^{\...
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Is this optimization problem solvable?

I have the following optimization problem: $$ \min_\mathbf{x}\|\mathbf{a+Bx}\|^2 ~~\text{s.t}~~ \|\mathbf{y+Ax}\|_\infty \leq \beta\|\mathbf{y}\|_\infty ~~,~~ \|\mathbf{x}\|^2 \leq \alpha^2$$ where $\...