A Sparsity Preserving Convexification Procedure for Indefinite Quadratic Programs Arising in Direct Optimal Control
Journal article, 2017
Quadratic programs (QP) with an indefinite Hessian matrix arise naturally in some direct optimal control methods, e.g., as subproblems in a sequential quadratic programming scheme. Typically, the Hessian is approximated with a positive de finite matrix to ensure having a unique solution; such a procedure is called regularization. We present a novel regularization method tailored for QPs with optimal control structure. Our approach exhibits three main advantages. First, when the QP satisfies a second order sufficient condition for optimality, the primal solution of the original and the regularized problem are equal. In addition, the algorithm recovers the dual solution in a convenient way. Second, and more importantly, the regularized Hessian bears the same sparsity structure as the original one. This allows for the use of efficient structure-exploiting QP solvers. As a third advantage, the regularization can be performed with a computational complexity that scales linearly in the length of the control horizon. We showcase the properties of our regularization algorithm on a numerical example for nonlinear optimal control. The results are compared to other sparsity preserving regularization methods.
computers & chemical engineering
nonlinear predictive control