Cone Programming¶
In this chapter we consider convex optimization problems of the form
The linear inequality is a generalized inequality with respect to a proper convex cone. It may include componentwise vector inequalities, secondorder cone inequalities, and linear matrix inequalities.
The main solvers are conelp
and
coneqp
, described in the
sections Linear Cone Programs and Quadratic Cone Programs. The function
conelp
is restricted to problems with linear cost functions, and
can detect primal and dual infeasibility. The function coneqp
solves the general quadratic problem, but requires the problem to be
strictly primal and dual feasible. For convenience (and backward
compatibility), simpler interfaces to these function are also provided
that handle pure linear programs, quadratic programs, secondorder cone
programs, and semidefinite programs. These are described in the sections
Linear Programming, Quadratic Programming, SecondOrder Cone Programming, Semidefinite Programming.
In the section Exploiting Structure we explain how custom solvers can
be implemented that exploit structure in cone programs. The last two
sections describe optional interfaces to external solvers, and the
algorithm parameters that control the cone programming solvers.
Linear Cone Programs¶

cvxopt.solvers.
conelp
(c, G, h[, dims[, A, b[, primalstart[, dualstart[, kktsolver]]]]])¶ Solves a pair of primal and dual cone programs
The primal variables are and . The dual variables are , . The inequalities are interpreted as , , where is a cone defined as a Cartesian product of a nonnegative orthant, a number of secondorder cones, and a number of positive semidefinite cones:
with
In this definition, denotes a symmetric matrix stored as a vector in column major order. The structure of is specified by
dims
. This argument is a dictionary with three fields.dims['l']
:, the dimension of the nonnegative orthant (a nonnegative integer).
dims['q']
:, a list with the dimensions of the secondorder cones (positive integers).
dims['s']
:, a list with the dimensions of the positive semidefinite cones (nonnegative integers).
The default value of
dims
is{'l': G.size[0], 'q': [], 's': []}
, i.e., by default the inequality is interpreted as a componentwise vector inequality.The arguments
c
,h
, andb
are real singlecolumn dense matrices.G
andA
are real dense or sparse matrices. The number of rows ofG
andh
is equal toThe columns of
G
andh
are vectors inwhere the last components represent symmetric matrices stored in column major order. The strictly upper triangular entries of these matrices are not accessed (i.e., the symmetric matrices are stored in the
'L'
type column major order used in theblas
andlapack
modules). The default values forA
andb
are matrices with zero rows, meaning that there are no equality constraints.primalstart
is a dictionary with keys'x'
and's'
, used as an optional primal starting point.primalstart['x']
andprimalstart['s']
are real dense matrices of size (, 1) and (, 1), respectively, where is the length ofc
. The vectorprimalstart['s']
must be strictly positive with respect to the cone .dualstart
is a dictionary with keys'y'
and'z'
, used as an optional dual starting point.dualstart['y']
anddualstart['z']
are real dense matrices of size (, 1) and (, 1), respectively, where is the number of rows inA
. The vectordualstart['s']
must be strictly positive with respect to the cone .The role of the optional argument
kktsolver
is explained in the section Exploiting Structure.conelp
returns a dictionary that contains the result and information about the accuracy of the solution. The most important fields have keys'status'
,'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
. The'status'
field is a string with possible values'optimal'
,'primal infeasible'
,'dual infeasible'
, and'unknown'
. The meaning of the'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
fields depends on the value of'status'
.'optimal'
In this case the
'x'
,'s'
,'y'
, and'z'
entries contain the primal and dual solutions, which approximately satisfyThe other entries in the output dictionary summarize the accuracy with which these optimality conditions are satisfied. The fields
'primal objective'
,'dual objective'
, and'gap'
give the primal objective , dual objective , and the gap . The field'relative gap'
is the relative gap, defined asand
None
otherwise. The fields'primal infeasibility'
and'dual infeasibility'
are the residuals in the primal and dual equality constraints, defined asrespectively.
'primal infeasible'
The
'x'
and's'
entries areNone
, and the'y'
,'z'
entries provide an approximate certificate of infeasibility, i.e., vectors that approximately satisfyThe field
'residual as primal infeasibility certificate'
gives the residual'dual infeasible'
The
'y'
and'z'
entries areNone
, and the'x'
and's'
entries contain an approximate certificate of dual infeasibilityThe field
'residual as dual infeasibility certificate'
gives the residual'unknown'
This indicates that the algorithm terminated early due to numerical difficulties or because the maximum number of iterations was reached. The
'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
entries contain the iterates when the algorithm terminated. Whether these entries are useful, as approximate solutions or certificates of primal and dual infeasibility, can be determined from the other fields in the dictionary.The fields
'primal objective'
,'dual objective'
,'gap'
,'relative gap'
,'primal infeasibility'
,'dual infeasibility'
are defined as when'status'
is'optimal'
. The field'residual as primal infeasibility certificate'
is defined asif , and
None
otherwise. A small value of this residual indicates that and , divided by , are an approximate proof of primal infeasibility. The field'residual as dual infeasibility certificate'
is defined asif , and as
None
otherwise. A small value indicates that and , divided by are an approximate proof of dual infeasibility.
It is required that
where is the number or rows of and is the number of columns of and .
As an example we solve the problem
>>> from cvxopt import matrix, solvers
>>> c = matrix([6., 4., 5.])
>>> G = matrix([[ 16., 7., 24., 8., 8., 1., 0., 1., 0., 0.,
7., 5., 1., 5., 1., 7., 1., 7., 4.],
[14., 2., 7., 13., 18., 3., 0., 0., 1., 0.,
3., 13., 6., 13., 12., 10., 6., 10., 28.],
[ 5., 0., 15., 12., 6., 17., 0., 0., 0., 1.,
9., 6., 6., 6., 7., 7., 6., 7., 11.]])
>>> h = matrix( [ 3., 5., 12., 2., 14., 13., 10., 0., 0., 0.,
68., 30., 19., 30., 99., 23., 19., 23., 10.] )
>>> dims = {'l': 2, 'q': [4, 4], 's': [3]}
>>> sol = solvers.conelp(c, G, h, dims)
>>> sol['status']
'optimal'
>>> print(sol['x'])
[1.22e+00]
[ 9.66e02]
[ 3.58e+00]
>>> print(sol['z'])
[ 9.30e02]
[ 2.04e08]
[ 2.35e01]
[ 1.33e01]
[4.74e02]
[ 1.88e01]
[ 2.79e08]
[ 1.85e09]
[6.32e10]
[7.59e09]
[ 1.26e01]
[ 8.78e02]
[8.67e02]
[ 8.78e02]
[ 6.13e02]
[6.06e02]
[8.67e02]
[6.06e02]
[ 5.98e02]
Only the entries of G
and h
defining the lower triangular portions
of the coefficients in the linear matrix inequalities are accessed. We
obtain the same result if we define G
and h
as below.
>>> G = matrix([[ 16., 7., 24., 8., 8., 1., 0., 1., 0., 0.,
7., 5., 1., 0., 1., 7., 0., 0., 4.],
[14., 2., 7., 13., 18., 3., 0., 0., 1., 0.,
3., 13., 6., 0., 12., 10., 0., 0., 28.],
[ 5., 0., 15., 12., 6., 17., 0., 0., 0., 1.,
9., 6., 6., 0., 7., 7., 0., 0., 11.]])
>>> h = matrix( [ 3., 5., 12., 2., 14., 13., 10., 0., 0., 0.,
68., 30., 19., 0., 99., 23., 0., 0., 10.] )
Quadratic Cone Programs¶

cvxopt.solvers.
coneqp
(P, q[, G, h[, dims[, A, b[, initvals[, kktsolver]]]]])¶ Solves a pair of primal and dual quadratic cone programs
and
The primal variables are and the slack variable . The dual variables are and . The inequalities are interpreted as , , where is a cone defined as a Cartesian product of a nonnegative orthant, a number of secondorder cones, and a number of positive semidefinite cones:
with
In this definition, denotes a symmetric matrix stored as a vector in column major order. The structure of is specified by
dims
. This argument is a dictionary with three fields.dims['l']
:, the dimension of the nonnegative orthant (a nonnegative integer).
dims['q']
:, a list with the dimensions of the secondorder cones (positive integers).
dims['s']
:, a list with the dimensions of the positive semidefinite cones (nonnegative integers).
The default value of
dims
is{'l': G.size[0], 'q': [], 's': []}
, i.e., by default the inequality is interpreted as a componentwise vector inequality.P
is a square dense or sparse real matrix, representing a positive semidefinite symmetric matrix in'L'
storage, i.e., only the lower triangular part ofP
is referenced.q
is a real singlecolumn dense matrix.The arguments
h
andb
are real singlecolumn dense matrices.G
andA
are real dense or sparse matrices. The number of rows ofG
andh
is equal toThe columns of
G
andh
are vectors inwhere the last components represent symmetric matrices stored in column major order. The strictly upper triangular entries of these matrices are not accessed (i.e., the symmetric matrices are stored in the
'L'
type column major order used in theblas
andlapack
modules). The default values forG
,h
,A
, andb
are matrices with zero rows, meaning that there are no inequality or equality constraints.initvals
is a dictionary with keys'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
used as an optional starting point. The vectorsinitvals['s']
andinitvals['z']
must be strictly positive with respect to the cone . If the argumentinitvals
or any the four entries in it are missing, default starting points are used for the corresponding variables.The role of the optional argument
kktsolver
is explained in the section Exploiting Structure.coneqp
returns a dictionary that contains the result and information about the accuracy of the solution. The most important fields have keys'status'
,'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
. The'status'
field is a string with possible values'optimal'
and'unknown'
.'optimal'
In this case the
'x'
,'s'
,'y'
, and'z'
entries contain primal and dual solutions, which approximately satisfy'unknown'
This indicates that the algorithm terminated early due to numerical difficulties or because the maximum number of iterations was reached. The
'x'
,'s'
,'y'
,'z'
entries contain the iterates when the algorithm terminated.
The other entries in the output dictionary summarize the accuracy with which the optimality conditions are satisfied. The fields
'primal objective'
,'dual objective'
, and'gap'
give the primal objective , the dual objective calculated asand the gap . The field
'relative gap'
is the relative gap, defined asand
None
otherwise. The fields'primal infeasibility'
and'dual infeasibility'
are the residuals in the primal and dual equality constraints, defined asrespectively.
It is required that the problem is solvable and that
where is the number or rows of and is the number of columns of and .
As an example, we solve a constrained leastsquares problem
with
>>> from cvxopt import matrix, solvers
>>> A = matrix([ [ .3, .4, .2, .4, 1.3 ],
[ .6, 1.2, 1.7, .3, .3 ],
[.3, .0, .6, 1.2, 2.0 ] ])
>>> b = matrix([ 1.5, .0, 1.2, .7, .0])
>>> m, n = A.size
>>> I = matrix(0.0, (n,n))
>>> I[::n+1] = 1.0
>>> G = matrix([I, matrix(0.0, (1,n)), I])
>>> h = matrix(n*[0.0] + [1.0] + n*[0.0])
>>> dims = {'l': n, 'q': [n+1], 's': []}
>>> x = solvers.coneqp(A.T*A, A.T*b, G, h, dims)['x']
>>> print(x)
[ 7.26e01]
[ 6.18e01]
[ 3.03e01]
Linear Programming¶
The function lp
is an interface to
conelp
for linear
programs. It also provides the option of using the linear programming
solvers from GLPK or MOSEK.

cvxopt.solvers.
lp
(c, G, h[, A, b[, solver[, primalstart[, dualstart]]]])¶ Solves the pair of primal and dual linear programs
The inequalities are componentwise vector inequalities.
The
solver
argument is used to choose among three solvers. When it is omitted orNone
, the CVXOPT functionconelp
is used. The external solvers GLPK and MOSEK (if installed) can be selected by settingsolver
to'glpk'
or'mosek'
; see the section Optional Solvers. The meaning of the other arguments and the return value are the same as forconelp
called withdims
equal to{'l': G.size[0], 'q': [], 's': []}
.The initial values are ignored when
solver
is'mosek'
or'glpk'
. With the GLPK option, the solver does not return certificates of primal or dual infeasibility: if the status is'primal infeasible'
or'dual infeasible'
, all entries of the output dictionary areNone
. If the GLPK or MOSEK solvers are used, and the code returns with status'unknown'
, all the other fields in the output dictionary areNone
.
As a simple example we solve the LP
>>> from cvxopt import matrix, solvers
>>> c = matrix([4., 5.])
>>> G = matrix([[2., 1., 1., 0.], [1., 2., 0., 1.]])
>>> h = matrix([3., 3., 0., 0.])
>>> sol = solvers.lp(c, G, h)
>>> print(sol['x'])
[ 1.00e+00]
[ 1.00e+00]
Quadratic Programming¶
The function qp
is an interface to
coneqp
for quadratic
programs. It also provides the option of using the quadratic programming
solver from MOSEK.

cvxopt.solvers.
qp
(P, q[, G, h[, A, b[, solver[, initvals]]]])¶ Solves the pair of primal and dual convex quadratic programs
and
The inequalities are componentwise vector inequalities.
The default CVXOPT solver is used when the
solver
argument is absent orNone
. The MOSEK solver (if installed) can be selected by settingsolver
to'mosek'
; see the section Optional Solvers. The meaning of the other arguments and the return value is the same as forconeqp
called with dims equal to{'l': G.size[0], 'q': [], 's': []}
.When
solver
is'mosek'
, the initial values are ignored, and the'status'
string in the solution dictionary can take four possible values:'optimal'
,'unknown'
.'primal infeasible'
,'dual infeasible'
.'primal infeasible'
This means that a certificate of primal infeasibility has been found. The
'x'
and's'
entries areNone
, and the'z'
and'y'
entries are vectors that approximately satisfy'dual infeasible'
This means that a certificate of dual infeasibility has been found. The
'z'
and'y'
entries areNone
, and the'x'
and's'
entries are vectors that approximately satisfy
As an example we compute the tradeoff curve on page 187 of the book Convex Optimization, by solving the quadratic program
for a sequence of positive values of . The code below computes the tradeoff curve and produces two figures using the Matplotlib package.
from math import sqrt
from cvxopt import matrix
from cvxopt.blas import dot
from cvxopt.solvers import qp
import pylab
# Problem data.
n = 4
S = matrix([[ 4e2, 6e3, 4e3, 0.0 ],
[ 6e3, 1e2, 0.0, 0.0 ],
[4e3, 0.0, 2.5e3, 0.0 ],
[ 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0 ]])
pbar = matrix([.12, .10, .07, .03])
G = matrix(0.0, (n,n))
G[::n+1] = 1.0
h = matrix(0.0, (n,1))
A = matrix(1.0, (1,n))
b = matrix(1.0)
# Compute tradeoff.
N = 100
mus = [ 10**(5.0*t/N1.0) for t in range(N) ]
portfolios = [ qp(mu*S, pbar, G, h, A, b)['x'] for mu in mus ]
returns = [ dot(pbar,x) for x in portfolios ]
risks = [ sqrt(dot(x, S*x)) for x in portfolios ]
# Plot tradeoff curve and optimal allocations.
pylab.figure(1, facecolor='w')
pylab.plot(risks, returns)
pylab.xlabel('standard deviation')
pylab.ylabel('expected return')
pylab.axis([0, 0.2, 0, 0.15])
pylab.title('Riskreturn tradeoff curve (fig 4.12)')
pylab.yticks([0.00, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15])
pylab.figure(2, facecolor='w')
c1 = [ x[0] for x in portfolios ]
c2 = [ x[0] + x[1] for x in portfolios ]
c3 = [ x[0] + x[1] + x[2] for x in portfolios ]
c4 = [ x[0] + x[1] + x[2] + x[3] for x in portfolios ]
pylab.fill(risks + [.20], c1 + [0.0], '#F0F0F0')
pylab.fill(risks[1::1] + risks, c2[1::1] + c1, facecolor = '#D0D0D0')
pylab.fill(risks[1::1] + risks, c3[1::1] + c2, facecolor = '#F0F0F0')
pylab.fill(risks[1::1] + risks, c4[1::1] + c3, facecolor = '#D0D0D0')
pylab.axis([0.0, 0.2, 0.0, 1.0])
pylab.xlabel('standard deviation')
pylab.ylabel('allocation')
pylab.text(.15,.5,'x1')
pylab.text(.10,.7,'x2')
pylab.text(.05,.7,'x3')
pylab.text(.01,.7,'x4')
pylab.title('Optimal allocations (fig 4.12)')
pylab.show()
SecondOrder Cone Programming¶
The function socp
is a simpler interface to
conelp
for
cone programs with no linear matrix inequality constraints.

cvxopt.solvers.
socp
(c[, Gl, hl[, Gq, hq[, A, b[, solver[, primalstart[, dualstart]]]]]])¶ Solves the pair of primal and dual secondorder cone programs
and
The inequalities
are componentwise vector inequalities. In the other inequalities, it is assumed that the variables are partitioned as
The input argument
c
is a real singlecolumn dense matrix. The argumentsGl
andhl
are the coefficient matrix and the righthand side of the componentwise inequalities.Gl
is a real dense or sparse matrix;hl
is a real singlecolumn dense matrix. The default values forGl
andhl
are matrices with zero rows.The argument
Gq
is a list of dense or sparse matrices , …, . The argumenthq
is a list of dense singlecolumn matrices . The elements ofGq
andhq
must have at least one row. The default values ofGq
andhq
are empty lists.A
is dense or sparse matrix andb
is a singlecolumn dense matrix. The default values forA
andb
are matrices with zero rows.The
solver
argument is used to choose between two solvers: the CVXOPTconelp
solver (used whensolver
is absent or equal toNone
and the external solver MOSEK (solver
is'mosek'
); see the section Optional Solvers. With the'mosek'
option the code does not accept problems with equality constraints.primalstart
anddualstart
are dictionaries with optional primal, respectively, dual starting points.primalstart
has elements'x'
,'sl'
,'sq'
.primalstart['x']
andprimalstart['sl']
are singlecolumn dense matrices with the initial values of and ;primalstart['sq']
is a list of singlecolumn matrices with the initial values of . The initial values must satisfy the inequalities in the primal problem strictly, but not necessarily the equality constraints.dualstart
has elements'y'
,'zl'
,'zq'
.dualstart['y']
anddualstart['zl']
are singlecolumn dense matrices with the initial values of and .dualstart['zq']
is a list of singlecolumn matrices with the initial values of . These values must satisfy the dual inequalities strictly, but not necessarily the equality constraint.The arguments
primalstart
anddualstart
are ignored when the MOSEK solver is used.socp
returns a dictionary that include entries with keys'status'
,'x'
,'sl'
,'sq'
,'y'
,'zl'
,'zq'
. The'sl'
and'zl'
fields are matrices with the primal slacks and dual variables associated with the componentwise linear inequalities. The'sq'
and'zq'
fields are lists with the primal slacks and dual variables associated with the secondorder cone inequalities. The other entries in the output dictionary have the same meaning as in the output ofconelp
.
As an example, we solve the secondorder cone program
>>> from cvxopt import matrix, solvers
>>> c = matrix([2., 1., 5.])
>>> G = [ matrix( [[12., 13., 12.], [6., 3., 12.], [5., 5., 6.]] ) ]
>>> G += [ matrix( [[3., 3., 1., 1.], [6., 6., 9., 19.], [10., 2., 2., 3.]] ) ]
>>> h = [ matrix( [12., 3., 2.] ), matrix( [27., 0., 3., 42.] ) ]
>>> sol = solvers.socp(c, Gq = G, hq = h)
>>> sol['status']
optimal
>>> print(sol['x'])
[5.02e+00]
[5.77e+00]
[8.52e+00]
>>> print(sol['zq'][0])
[ 1.34e+00]
[7.63e02]
[1.34e+00]
>>> print(sol['zq'][1])
[ 1.02e+00]
[ 4.02e01]
[ 7.80e01]
[5.17e01]
Semidefinite Programming¶
The function sdp
is a simple interface to
conelp
for cone
programs with no secondorder cone constraints. It also provides the
option of using the DSDP semidefinite programming solver.

cvxopt.solvers.
sdp
(c[, Gl, hl[, Gs, hs[, A, b[, solver[, primalstart[, dualstart]]]]]])¶ Solves the pair of primal and dual semidefinite programs
and
The inequalities
are componentwise vector inequalities. The other inequalities are matrix inequalities (ie, the require the lefthand sides to be positive semidefinite). We use the notation to denote a symmetric matrix stored in column major order as a column vector.
The input argument
c
is a real singlecolumn dense matrix. The argumentsGl
andhl
are the coefficient matrix and the righthand side of the componentwise inequalities.Gl
is a real dense or sparse matrix;hl
is a real singlecolumn dense matrix. The default values forGl
andhl
are matrices with zero rows.Gs
andhs
are lists of length that specify the linear matrix inequality constraints.Gs
is a list of dense or sparse real matrices . The columns of these matrices can be interpreted as symmetric matrices stored in column major order, using the BLAS'L'
type storage (i.e., only the entries corresponding to lower triangular positions are accessed).hs
is a list of dense symmetric matrices . Only the lower triangular elements of these matrices are accessed. The default values forGs
andhs
are empty lists.A
is a dense or sparse matrix andb
is a singlecolumn dense matrix. The default values forA
andb
are matrices with zero rows.The
solver
argument is used to choose between two solvers: the CVXOPTconelp
solver (used whensolver
is absent or equal toNone
) and the external solver DSDP5 (solver
is'dsdp'
); see the section Optional Solvers. With the'dsdp'
option the code does not accept problems with equality constraints.The optional argument
primalstart
is a dictionary with keys'x'
,'sl'
, and'ss'
, used as an optional primal starting point.primalstart['x']
andprimalstart['sl']
are singlecolumn dense matrices with the initial values of and ;primalstart['ss']
is a list of square matrices with the initial values of . The initial values must satisfy the inequalities in the primal problem strictly, but not necessarily the equality constraints.dualstart
is a dictionary with keys'y'
,'zl'
,'zs'
, used as an optional dual starting point.dualstart['y']
anddualstart['zl']
are singlecolumn dense matrices with the initial values of and .dualstart['zs']
is a list of square matrices with the initial values of . These values must satisfy the dual inequalities strictly, but not necessarily the equality constraint.The arguments
primalstart
anddualstart
are ignored when the DSDP solver is used.sdp
returns a dictionary that includes entries with keys'status'
,'x'
,'sl'
,'ss'
,'y'
,'zl'
,'ss'
. The'sl'
and'zl'
fields are matrices with the primal slacks and dual variables associated with the componentwise linear inequalities. The'ss'
and'zs'
fields are lists with the primal slacks and dual variables associated with the secondorder cone inequalities. The other entries in the output dictionary have the same meaning as in the output ofconelp
.
We illustrate the calling sequence with a small example.
>>> from cvxopt import matrix, solvers
>>> c = matrix([1.,1.,1.])
>>> G = [ matrix([[7., 11., 11., 3.],
[ 7., 18., 18., 8.],
[2., 8., 8., 1.]]) ]
>>> G += [ matrix([[21., 11., 0., 11., 10., 8., 0., 8., 5.],
[ 0., 10., 16., 10., 10., 10., 16., 10., 3.],
[ 5., 2., 17., 2., 6., 8., 17., 8., 6.]]) ]
>>> h = [ matrix([[33., 9.], [9., 26.]]) ]
>>> h += [ matrix([[14., 9., 40.], [9., 91., 10.], [40., 10., 15.]]) ]
>>> sol = solvers.sdp(c, Gs=G, hs=h)
>>> print(sol['x'])
[3.68e01]
[ 1.90e+00]
[8.88e01]
>>> print(sol['zs'][0])
[ 3.96e03 4.34e03]
[4.34e03 4.75e03]
>>> print(sol['zs'][1])
[ 5.58e02 2.41e03 2.42e02]
[2.41e03 1.04e04 1.05e03]
[ 2.42e02 1.05e03 1.05e02]
Only the entries in Gs
and hs
that correspond to lower triangular
entries need to be provided, so in the example h
and G
may also be
defined as follows.
>>> G = [ matrix([[7., 11., 0., 3.],
[ 7., 18., 0., 8.],
[2., 8., 0., 1.]]) ]
>>> G += [ matrix([[21., 11., 0., 0., 10., 8., 0., 0., 5.],
[ 0., 10., 16., 0., 10., 10., 0., 0., 3.],
[ 5., 2., 17., 0., 6., 8., 0., 0., 6.]]) ]
>>> h = [ matrix([[33., 9.], [0., 26.]]) ]
>>> h += [ matrix([[14., 9., 40.], [0., 91., 10.], [0., 0., 15.]]) ]
Exploiting Structure¶
By default, the functions
conelp
and
coneqp
exploit no
problem structure except (to some limited extent) sparsity. Two mechanisms
are provided for implementing customized solvers that take advantage of
problem structure.
 Providing a function for solving KKT equations
The most expensive step of each iteration of
conelp
orconeqp
is the solution of a set of linear equations (KKT equations) of the form(1)¶
(with in
conelp
). The matrix depends on the current iterates and is defined as follows. We use the notation of the sections Linear Cone Programs and Quadratic Cone Programs. LetThen is a blockdiagonal matrix,
with the following diagonal blocks.
The first block is a positive diagonal scaling with a vector :
This transformation is symmetric:
The next blocks are positive multiples of hyperbolic Householder transformations:
where
These transformations are also symmetric:
The last blocks are congruence transformations with nonsingular matrices:
In general, this operation is not symmetric:
It is often possible to exploit problem structure to solve (1) faster than by standard methods. The last argument
kktsolver
ofconelp
andconeqp
allows the user to supply a Python function for solving the KKT equations. This function will be called asf = kktsolver(W)
, whereW
is a dictionary that contains the parameters of the scaling:W['d']
is the positive vector that defines the diagonal scaling.W['di']
is its componentwise inverse.W['beta']
andW['v']
are lists of length with the coefficients and vectors that define the hyperbolic Householder transformations.W['r']
is a list of length with the matrices that define the the congruence transformations.W['rti']
is a list of length with the transposes of the inverses of the matrices inW['r']
.
The function call
f = kktsolver(W)
should return a routine for solving the KKT system (1) defined byW
. It will be called asf(bx, by, bz)
. On entry,bx
,by
,bz
contain the righthand side. On exit, they should contain the solution of the KKT system, with the last component scaled, i.e., on exit,In other words, the function returns the solution of
 Specifying constraints via Python functions
In the default use of
conelp
andconeqp
, the linear constraints and the quadratic term in the objective are parameterized by CVXOPT matricesG
,A
,P
. It is possible to specify these parameters via Python functions that evaluate the corresponding matrixvector products and their adjoints.If the argument
G
ofconelp
orconeqp
is a Python function, thenG(x, y[, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0, trans = 'N'])
should evaluate the matrixvector productsSimilarly, if the argument
A
is a Python function, thenA(x, y[, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0, trans = 'N'])
should evaluate the matrixvector productsIf the argument
P
ofconeqp
is a Python function, thenP(x, y[, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0])
should evaluate the matrixvector products
If
G
,A
, orP
are Python functions, then the argumentkktsolver
must also be provided.
We illustrate these features with three applications.
Example: 1norm approximation
The optimization problem
can be formulated as a linear program
By exploiting the structure in the inequalities, the cost of an iteration of an interiorpoint method can be reduced to the cost of leastsquares problem of the same dimensions. (See section 11.8.2 in the book Convex Optimization.) The code below takes advantage of this fact.
from cvxopt import blas, lapack, solvers, matrix, spmatrix, mul, div def l1(P, q): """ Returns the solution u, w of the l1 approximation problem (primal) minimize P*u  q_1 (dual) maximize q'*w subject to P'*w = 0 w_infty <= 1. """ m, n = P.size # Solve the equivalent LP # # minimize [0; 1]' * [u; v] # subject to [P, I; P, I] * [u; v] <= [q; q] # # maximize [q; q]' * z # subject to [P', P']*z = 0 # [I, I]*z + 1 = 0 # z >= 0. c = matrix(n*[0.0] + m*[1.0]) def G(x, y, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0, trans = 'N'): if trans=='N': # y := alpha * [P, I; P, I] * x + beta*y u = P*x[:n] y[:m] = alpha * ( u  x[n:]) + beta * y[:m] y[m:] = alpha * (u  x[n:]) + beta * y[m:] else: # y := alpha * [P', P'; I, I] * x + beta*y y[:n] = alpha * P.T * (x[:m]  x[m:]) + beta * y[:n] y[n:] = alpha * (x[:m] + x[m:]) + beta * y[n:] h = matrix([q, q]) dims = {'l': 2*m, 'q': [], 's': []} def F(W): """ Returns a function f(x, y, z) that solves [ 0 0 P' P' ] [ x[:n] ] [ bx[:n] ] [ 0 0 I I ] [ x[n:] ] [ bx[n:] ] [ P I D1^{1} 0 ] [ z[:m] ] = [ bz[:m] ] [P I 0 D2^{1} ] [ z[m:] ] [ bz[m:] ] where D1 = diag(di[:m])^2, D2 = diag(di[m:])^2 and di = W['di']. """ # Factor A = 4*P'*D*P where D = d1.*d2 ./(d1+d2) and # d1 = di[:m].^2, d2 = di[m:].^2. di = W['di'] d1, d2 = di[:m]**2, di[m:]**2 D = div( mul(d1,d2), d1+d2 ) A = P.T * spmatrix(4*D, range(m), range(m)) * P lapack.potrf(A) def f(x, y, z): """ On entry bx, bz are stored in x, z. On exit x, z contain the solution, with z scaled: z./di is returned instead of z. """" # Solve for x[:n]: # # A*x[:n] = bx[:n] + P' * ( ((D1D2)*(D1+D2)^{1})*bx[n:] # + (2*D1*D2*(D1+D2)^{1}) * (bz[:m]  bz[m:]) ). x[:n] += P.T * ( mul(div(d1d2, d1+d2), x[n:]) + mul(2*D, z[:m]z[m:]) ) lapack.potrs(A, x) # x[n:] := (D1+D2)^{1} * (bx[n:]  D1*bz[:m]  D2*bz[m:] + (D1D2)*P*x[:n]) u = P*x[:n] x[n:] = div(x[n:]  mul(d1, z[:m])  mul(d2, z[m:]) + mul(d1d2, u), d1+d2) # z[:m] := d1[:m] .* ( P*x[:n]  x[n:]  bz[:m]) # z[m:] := d2[m:] .* (P*x[:n]  x[n:]  bz[m:]) z[:m] = mul(di[:m], u  x[n:]  z[:m]) z[m:] = mul(di[m:], u  x[n:]  z[m:]) return f sol = solvers.conelp(c, G, h, dims, kktsolver = F) return sol['x'][:n], sol['z'][m:]  sol['z'][:m]
Example: SDP with diagonal linear term
The SDP
can be solved efficiently by exploiting properties of the diag operator.
from cvxopt import blas, lapack, solvers, matrix def mcsdp(w): """ Returns solution x, z to (primal) minimize sum(x) subject to w + diag(x) >= 0 (dual) maximize tr(w*z) subject to diag(z) = 1 z >= 0. """ n = w.size[0] c = matrix(1.0, (n,1)) def G(x, y, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0, trans = 'N'): """ y := alpha*(diag(x)) + beta*y. """ if trans=='N': # x is a vector; y is a symmetric matrix in column major order. y *= beta y[::n+1] = alpha * x else: # x is a symmetric matrix in column major order; y is a vector. y *= beta y = alpha * x[::n+1] def cngrnc(r, x, alpha = 1.0): """ Congruence transformation x := alpha * r'*x*r. r and x are square matrices. """ # Scale diagonal of x by 1/2. x[::n+1] *= 0.5 # a := tril(x)*r a = +r tx = matrix(x, (n,n)) blas.trmm(tx, a, side = 'L') # x := alpha*(a*r' + r*a') blas.syr2k(r, a, tx, trans = 'T', alpha = alpha) x[:] = tx[:] dims = {'l': 0, 'q': [], 's': [n]} def F(W): """ Returns a function f(x, y, z) that solves diag(z) = bx diag(x)  r*r'*z*r*r' = bz where r = W['r'][0] = W['rti'][0]^{T}. """ rti = W['rti'][0] # t = rti*rti' as a nonsymmetric matrix. t = matrix(0.0, (n,n)) blas.gemm(rti, rti, t, transB = 'T') # Cholesky factorization of tsq = t.*t. tsq = t**2 lapack.potrf(tsq) def f(x, y, z): """ On entry, x contains bx, y is empty, and z contains bz stored in column major order. On exit, they contain the solution, with z scaled (vec(r'*z*r) is returned instead of z). We first solve ((rti*rti') .* (rti*rti')) * x = bx  diag(t*bz*t) and take z =  rti' * (diag(x) + bz) * rti. """ # tbst := t * bz * t tbst = +z cngrnc(t, tbst) # x := x  diag(tbst) = bx  diag(rti*rti' * bz * rti*rti') x = tbst[::n+1] # x := (t.*t)^{1} * x = (t.*t)^{1} * (bx  diag(t*bz*t)) lapack.potrs(tsq, x) # z := z + diag(x) = bz + diag(x) z[::n+1] += x # z := vec(rti' * z * rti) # = vec(rti' * (diag(x) + bz) * rti cngrnc(rti, z, alpha = 1.0) return f sol = solvers.conelp(c, G, w[:], dims, kktsolver = F) return sol['x'], sol['z']
 Example: Minimizing 1norm subject to a 2norm constraint
In the second example, we use a similar trick to solve the problem
The code below is efficient, if we assume that the number of rows in is greater than or equal to the number of columns.
def qcl1(A, b): """ Returns the solution u, z of (primal) minimize  u _1 subject to  A * u  b _2 <= 1 (dual) maximize b^T z  z_2 subject to  A'*z _inf <= 1. Exploits structure, assuming A is m by n with m >= n. """ m, n = A.size # Solve equivalent cone LP with variables x = [u; v]. # # minimize [0; 1]' * x # subject to [ I I ] * x <= [ 0 ] (componentwise) # [I I ] * x <= [ 0 ] (componentwise) # [ 0 0 ] * x <= [ 1 ] (SOC) # [A 0 ] [ b ] # # maximize t + b' * w # subject to z1  z2 = A'*w # z1 + z2 = 1 # z1 >= 0, z2 >=0, w_2 <= t. c = matrix(n*[0.0] + n*[1.0]) h = matrix( 0.0, (2*n + m + 1, 1)) h[2*n] = 1.0 h[2*n+1:] = b def G(x, y, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0, trans = 'N'): y *= beta if trans=='N': # y += alpha * G * x y[:n] += alpha * (x[:n]  x[n:2*n]) y[n:2*n] += alpha * (x[:n]  x[n:2*n]) y[2*n+1:] = alpha * A*x[:n] else: # y += alpha * G'*x y[:n] += alpha * (x[:n]  x[n:2*n]  A.T * x[m:]) y[n:] = alpha * (x[:n] + x[n:2*n]) def Fkkt(W): """ Returns a function f(x, y, z) that solves [ 0 G' ] [ x ] = [ bx ] [ G W'*W ] [ z ] [ bz ]. """ # First factor # # S = G' * W**1 * W**T * G # = [0; A]' * W3^2 * [0; A] + 4 * (W1**2 + W2**2)**1 # # where # # W1 = diag(d1) with d1 = W['d'][:n] = 1 ./ W['di'][:n] # W2 = diag(d2) with d2 = W['d'][n:] = 1 ./ W['di'][n:] # W3 = beta * (2*v*v'  J), W3^1 = 1/beta * (2*J*v*v'*J  J) # with beta = W['beta'][0], v = W['v'][0], J = [1, 0; 0, I]. # As = W3^1 * [ 0 ; A ] = 1/beta * ( 2*J*v * v'  I ) * [0; A] beta, v = W['beta'][0], W['v'][0] As = 2 * v * (v[1:].T * A) As[1:,:] *= 1.0 As[1:,:] = A As /= beta # S = As'*As + 4 * (W1**2 + W2**2)**1 S = As.T * As d1, d2 = W['d'][:n], W['d'][n:] d = 4.0 * (d1**2 + d2**2)**1 S[::n+1] += d lapack.potrf(S) def f(x, y, z): # z :=  W**T * z z[:n] = div( z[:n], d1 ) z[n:2*n] = div( z[n:2*n], d2 ) z[2*n:] = 2.0*v*( v[0]*z[2*n]  blas.dot(v[1:], z[2*n+1:]) ) z[2*n+1:] *= 1.0 z[2*n:] /= beta # x := x  G' * W**1 * z x[:n] = div(z[:n], d1)  div(z[n:2*n], d2) + As.T * z[(m+1):] x[n:] += div(z[:n], d1) + div(z[n:2*n], d2) # Solve for x[:n]: # # S*x[:n] = x[:n]  (W1**2  W2**2)(W1**2 + W2**2)^1 * x[n:] x[:n] = mul( div(d1**2  d2**2, d1**2 + d2**2), x[n:]) lapack.potrs(S, x) # Solve for x[n:]: # # (d1**2 + d2**2) * x[n:] = x[n:] + (d1**2  d2**2)*x[:n] x[n:] += mul( d1**2  d2**2, x[:n]) x[n:] = div( x[n:], d1**2 + d2**2) # z := z + W^T * G*x z[:n] += div( x[:n]  x[n:2*n], d1) z[n:2*n] += div( x[:n]  x[n:2*n], d2) z[2*n:] += As*x[:n] return f dims = {'l': 2*n, 'q': [m+1], 's': []} sol = solvers.conelp(c, G, h, dims, kktsolver = Fkkt) if sol['status'] == 'optimal': return sol['x'][:n], sol['z'][m:] else: return None, None
 Example: 1norm regularized leastsquares
As an example that illustrates how structure can be exploited in
coneqp
, we consider the 1norm regularized leastsquares problemwith variable . The problem is equivalent to the quadratic program
with variables and . The implementation below is efficient when has many more columns than rows.
from cvxopt import matrix, spdiag, mul, div, blas, lapack, solvers, sqrt import math def l1regls(A, y): """ Returns the solution of l1norm regularized leastsquares problem minimize  A*x  y _2^2 +  x _1. """ m, n = A.size q = matrix(1.0, (2*n,1)) q[:n] = 2.0 * A.T * y def P(u, v, alpha = 1.0, beta = 0.0 ): """ v := alpha * 2.0 * [ A'*A, 0; 0, 0 ] * u + beta * v """ v *= beta v[:n] += alpha * 2.0 * A.T * (A * u[:n]) def G(u, v, alpha=1.0, beta=0.0, trans='N'): """ v := alpha*[I, I; I, I] * u + beta * v (trans = 'N' or 'T') """ v *= beta v[:n] += alpha*(u[:n]  u[n:]) v[n:] += alpha*(u[:n]  u[n:]) h = matrix(0.0, (2*n,1)) # Customized solver for the KKT system # # [ 2.0*A'*A 0 I I ] [x[:n] ] [bx[:n] ] # [ 0 0 I I ] [x[n:] ] = [bx[n:] ]. # [ I I D1^1 0 ] [zl[:n]] [bzl[:n]] # [ I I 0 D2^1 ] [zl[n:]] [bzl[n:]] # # where D1 = W['di'][:n]**2, D2 = W['di'][n:]**2. # # We first eliminate zl and x[n:]: # # ( 2*A'*A + 4*D1*D2*(D1+D2)^1 ) * x[:n] = # bx[:n]  (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 * bx[n:] + # D1 * ( I + (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 ) * bzl[:n]  # D2 * ( I  (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 ) * bzl[n:] # # x[n:] = (D1+D2)^1 * ( bx[n:]  D1*bzl[:n]  D2*bzl[n:] ) #  (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 * x[:n] # # zl[:n] = D1 * ( x[:n]  x[n:]  bzl[:n] ) # zl[n:] = D2 * (x[:n]  x[n:]  bzl[n:] ). # # The first equation has the form # # (A'*A + D)*x[:n] = rhs # # and is equivalent to # # [ D A' ] [ x:n] ] = [ rhs ] # [ A I ] [ v ] [ 0 ]. # # It can be solved as # # ( A*D^1*A' + I ) * v = A * D^1 * rhs # x[:n] = D^1 * ( rhs  A'*v ). S = matrix(0.0, (m,m)) Asc = matrix(0.0, (m,n)) v = matrix(0.0, (m,1)) def Fkkt(W): # Factor # # S = A*D^1*A' + I # # where D = 2*D1*D2*(D1+D2)^1, D1 = d[:n]**2, D2 = d[n:]**2. d1, d2 = W['di'][:n]**2, W['di'][n:]**2 # ds is square root of diagonal of D ds = math.sqrt(2.0) * div( mul( W['di'][:n], W['di'][n:]), sqrt(d1+d2) ) d3 = div(d2  d1, d1 + d2) # Asc = A*diag(d)^1/2 Asc = A * spdiag(ds**1) # S = I + A * D^1 * A' blas.syrk(Asc, S) S[::m+1] += 1.0 lapack.potrf(S) def g(x, y, z): x[:n] = 0.5 * ( x[:n]  mul(d3, x[n:]) + mul(d1, z[:n] + mul(d3, z[:n]))  mul(d2, z[n:]  mul(d3, z[n:])) ) x[:n] = div( x[:n], ds) # Solve # # S * v = 0.5 * A * D^1 * ( bx[:n]  # (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 * bx[n:] + # D1 * ( I + (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 ) * bzl[:n]  # D2 * ( I  (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 ) * bzl[n:] ) blas.gemv(Asc, x, v) lapack.potrs(S, v) # x[:n] = D^1 * ( rhs  A'*v ). blas.gemv(Asc, v, x, alpha=1.0, beta=1.0, trans='T') x[:n] = div(x[:n], ds) # x[n:] = (D1+D2)^1 * ( bx[n:]  D1*bzl[:n]  D2*bzl[n:] ) #  (D2D1)*(D1+D2)^1 * x[:n] x[n:] = div( x[n:]  mul(d1, z[:n])  mul(d2, z[n:]), d1+d2 )\  mul( d3, x[:n] ) # zl[:n] = D1^1/2 * ( x[:n]  x[n:]  bzl[:n] ) # zl[n:] = D2^1/2 * ( x[:n]  x[n:]  bzl[n:] ). z[:n] = mul( W['di'][:n], x[:n]  x[n:]  z[:n] ) z[n:] = mul( W['di'][n:], x[:n]  x[n:]  z[n:] ) return g return solvers.coneqp(P, q, G, h, kktsolver = Fkkt)['x'][:n]
Optional Solvers¶
CVXOPT includes optional interfaces to several other optimization libraries.
 GLPK
lp
with thesolver
option set to'glpk'
uses the simplex algorithm in GLPK (GNU Linear Programming Kit). MOSEK
lp
,socp
, andqp
with thesolver
option set to'mosek'
option use MOSEK version 5. DSDP
GLPK, MOSEK and DSDP are not included in the CVXOPT distribution and need to be installed separately.
Algorithm Parameters¶
In this section we list some algorithm control parameters that can be
modified without editing the source code. These control parameters are
accessible via the dictionary solvers.options
. By default the
dictionary is empty and the default values of the parameters are
used.
One can change the parameters in the default solvers by adding entries with the following key values.
'show_progress'
True
orFalse
; turns the output to the screen on or off (default:True
).'maxiters'
maximum number of iterations (default:
100
).'abstol'
absolute accuracy (default:
1e7
).'reltol'
relative accuracy (default:
1e6
).'feastol'
tolerance for feasibility conditions (default:
1e7
).'refinement'
number of iterative refinement steps when solving KKT equations (default:
0
if the problem has no secondorder cone or matrix inequality constraints;1
otherwise).
For example the command
>>> from cvxopt import solvers
>>> solvers.options['show_progress'] = False
turns off the screen output during calls to the solvers.
The tolerances 'abstol'
, 'reltol'
and 'feastol'
have the following meaning. conelp
terminates with status 'optimal'
if
and
and
It returns with status 'primal infeasible'
if
It returns with status 'dual infeasible'
if
The functions lp <cvxopt.solvers.lp
,
socp
and
sdp
call conelp
and hence use the same stopping criteria.
The function coneqp
terminates with
status 'optimal'
if
and
and at least one of the following three conditions is satisfied:
or
or
Here
The function qp
calls
coneqp
and hence uses the same
stopping criteria.
The control parameters listed in the GLPK documentation are set
to their default values and can be customized by making an entry
in solvers.options['glpk']
. The entry must be a
dictionary in which the key/value pairs are GLPK parameter names
and values. For example, the command
>>> from cvxopt import solvers
>>> solvers.options['glpk'] = {'msg_lev' : 'GLP_MSG_OFF'}
turns off the screen output in subsequent
lp
calls with the 'glpk'
option.
The MOSEK interiorpoint algorithm parameters are set to their default
values. They can be modified by adding an entry
solvers.options['mosek']
. This entry is a dictionary with
MOSEK parameter/value pairs, with the parameter names imported from
mosek
. For details see Section 15 of the MOSEK Python API Manual.
For example, the commands
>>> from cvxopt import solvers
>>> import mosek
>>> solvers.options['mosek'] = {mosek.iparam.log: 0}
turn off the screen output during calls of
lp
or socp
with
the 'mosek'
option.
The following control parameters in solvers.options['dsdp']
affect the
execution of the DSDP algorithm:
'DSDP_Monitor'
the interval (in number of iterations) at which output is printed to the screen (default:
0
).'DSDP_MaxIts'
maximum number of iterations.
'DSDP_GapTolerance'
relative accuracy (default:
1e5
).
It is also possible to override the options specified in the
dictionary solvers.options
by passing a dictionary with
options as a keyword argument. For example, the commands
>>> from cvxopt import solvers
>>> opts = {'maxiters' : 50}
>>> solvers.conelp(c, G, h, options = opts)
override the options specified in the dictionary
solvers.options
and use the options in the dictionary
opts
instead. This is useful e.g. when several problem
instances should be solved in parallel, but using different options.