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Target-based Distributionally Robust Minimum Spanning Tree Problem

Yang XuLianmin Zhang
Nov 2023
Due to its broad applications in practice, the minimum spanning tree problem and its all kinds of variations have been studied extensively during the last decades, for which a host of efficient exact and heuristic algorithms have been proposed. Meanwhile, motivated by realistic applications, the minimum spanning tree problem in stochastic network has attracted considerable attention of researchers, with respect to which stochastic and robust spanning tree models and related algorithms have been continuingly developed. However, all of them would be either too restricted by the types of the edge weight random variables or computationally intractable, especially in large-scale networks. In this paper, we introduce a target-based distributionally robust optimization framework to solve the minimum spanning tree problem in stochastic graphs where the probability distribution function of the edge weight is unknown but some statistical information could be utilized to prevent the optimal solution from being too conservative. We propose two exact algorithms to solve it, based on Benders decomposition framework and a modified classical greedy algorithm of MST problem (Prim algorithm),respectively. Compared with the NP-hard stochastic and robust spanning tree problems,The proposed target-based distributionally robust minimum spanning tree problem enjoys more satisfactory algorithmic aspect and robustness, when faced with uncertainty in input data.
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