Relaxations and duality for multiobjective integer programming

Alex Dunbar, Saumya Sinha, Andrew J. Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiobjective integer programs (MOIPs) simultaneously optimize multiple objective functions over a set of linear constraints and integer variables. In this paper, we present continuous, convex hull and Lagrangian relaxations for MOIPs and examine the relationship among them. The convex hull relaxation is tight at supported solutions, i.e., those that can be derived via a weighted-sum scalarization of the MOIP. At unsupported solutions, the convex hull relaxation is not tight and a Lagrangian relaxation may provide a tighter bound. Using the Lagrangian relaxation, we define a Lagrangian dual of an MOIP that satisfies weak duality and is strong at supported solutions under certain conditions on the primal feasible region. We include a numerical experiment to illustrate that bound sets obtained via Lagrangian duality may yield tighter bounds than those from a convex hull relaxation. Subsequently, we generalize the integer programming value function to MOIPs and use its properties to motivate a set-valued superadditive dual that is strong at supported solutions. We also define a simpler vector-valued superadditive dual that exhibits weak duality but is strongly dual if and only if the primal has a unique nondominated point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMathematical Programming
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and Mathematical Optimization Society.


  • Integer programming
  • Lagrangian duality
  • Lagrangian relaxation
  • Multiobjective optimization
  • Superadditive duality


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