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HypOp: Distributed Constrained Combinatorial Optimization leveraging Hypergraph Neural Networks

Nasimeh HeydaribeniXinrui ZhanRuisi ZhangTina Eliassi-Radand Farinaz Koushanfar
Nov 2023
Scalable addressing of high dimensional constrained combinatorial optimization problems is a challenge that arises in several science and engineering disciplines. Recent work introduced novel application of graph neural networks for solving polynomial-cost unconstrained combinatorial optimization problems. This paper proposes a new framework, called HypOp, which greatly advances the state of the art for solving combinatorial optimization problems in several aspects: (i) it generalizes the prior results to constrained optimization problems with an arbitrary cost function; (ii) it broadens the application to higher dimensional problems by leveraging a hypergraph neural network structure; (iii) it enables scalability to much larger problems by introducing a new distributed and parallel architecture for hypergraph neural network training; (iv) it demonstrates generalizability to other problem formulations by knowledge transfer from the learned experience of addressing one set of cost/constraints to another set for the same hypergraph; (v) it significantly boosts the solution accuracy compared with the prior art by suggesting a fine-tuning step using simulated annealing; (vi) HypOp shows a remarkable progress on benchmark examples, with run times improved by up to fivefold using a combination of fine-tuning and distributed training techniques. The framework allows addressing a novel set of scientific problems including hypergraph MaxCut problem, satisfiability problems (3SAT), and resource allocation. We showcase the application of HypOp in scientific discovery by solving a hypergraph MaxCut problem on the NDC drug-substance hypergraph. Through extensive experimentation on a variety of combinatorial optimization problems, HypOp demonstrates superiority over existing unsupervised learning-based solvers and generic optimization methods.
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