[ library(eplex) | Reference Manual | Alphabetic Index ]

# lp_demon_setup(+Objective, ?Cost, ++ListOfOptions, ++TriggerModes, -Handle)

Setup the external solver as a simplex demon.
Objective
Objective function: min(CostExpr) or max(CostExpr)
Cost
Variable bounded by the optimal solution
ListOfOptions
List of solver options
TriggerModes
List of conditions for re-triggering solver
Handle
handle to solver state

## Description

Setup the external solver as a simplex demon. A simplex demon collects linear constraints and re-solves the problem whenever the triggering conditions in TriggerModes are met.

Declaratively, this can be seen as a compound constraint representing all the individual linear constraints that have been set so far and are going to be set up later. Operationally, the delayed constraints are collected and an external solver is set up (as with lp_setup/4). Then the problem is solved once initially (if initial_solve option is yes) and a delayed goal lp_demon is set up which will re-trigger the solver when certain conditions are met.

CostExpr is a linear cost expression (or quadratic, if supported by the external solver).

Handle refers to the created solver state (as in lp_setup/4 or lp_read/3 described below). It can be used to access and modify the state of the solver, retrieve solution information etc.

Unlike with lp_solve/2, Cost will not be instantiated to a solution's cost, but only be bounded by the best-bound on cost: For a minimisation problem, each solution's best-bound becomes a lower bound, for maximisation an upper bound on Cost. This technique allows for repeated re-solving with reduced bounds or added constraints. Note that Cost is not automatically made a problem variable (it can be a problem variable if there are constraints that involve it), and thus may not have bounds associated with in. In order for the bounds information not to be lost, some bounds should be given to Cost (e.g. making it a problem variable (but this might introduce unnecessary self-waking on bounds change), or via another solver with bounds (e.g. ic)).

ListOfOptions is a list of solver options as described for lp_setup/4. In addition, the following extra options are also available:

collect_from(+Pool)
Specifies if this solver state should be associated with an eplex instance. If Pool is none, then the solver is not associated with an eplex instance. If Pool is pool(Instance), where Instance is the (atomic) name of an existing eplex instance, then this eplex instance would be associated with the solver state, i.e. when the solver is invoked, it will collect constraints posted to Instance. Note that Instance must not be associated with any other solver state already.

The default value for Pool is pool(eplex) (for backward compatibility).

initial_solve(+YesNo)
Specifies if an initial solve (call to the external solver) should be performed immediately after problem setup. YesNo is one of the atoms yes or no, the default is yes if any trigger condition is specified in TriggerModes, no if no trigger condition is specified.

TriggerModes specifies under which conditions the solver demon will be re-triggered. It can be a list of the following specifiers

inst
re-trigger if a problem variable gets instantiated.
ModuleName:Index
re-trigger when the suspension list given by ModuleName:Index is woken for any of the problem variables. The format for ModuleName:Index is the same as for specifying the suspension list in suspend/3,4.
deviating_inst
re-trigger if a problem variable gets instantiated to a value that differs from its lp-solution more than a tolerance.
bounds
re-trigger each time a variable bound for the solver instance changes.
deviating_bounds
re-trigger each time a variable's solver instance bound changes such that its lp-solution gets excluded more than a tolerance.
new_constraint
re-trigger each time a new (arithmetic or integral) constraint is added to the solver instance. Note that adding integral constraint on new problem variables, or adding bounds constraint, or adding constraints to the cutpool will *not* re-trigger.
trigger(Atom)
re-trigger each time the symbolic trigger Atom is pulled by invoking schedule_suspensions/1
pre(Goal)
an additional condition to be used together with other triggers. When the demon is triggered, it first executes PreGoal. Only if that succeeds, does the appropriate external solver get invoked. This provides a way of reducing the number of (possibly expensive) solver invocations when given preconditions are not met.
post(Goal)
this is not a trigger condition, but specifies a goal to be executed after solver success, but before the Cost variable gets constrained. It is intended as a hook for exporting solution information, e.g. copying solutions from the solver state into variable attributes (eg. tentative value), or computing weights for labelling heuristics from the solver state.
suspension(Susp)
this is not a trigger condition, but instead is used to access the demon used to trigger the solver. Susp is instantiated to the suspension that triggers the solver: by waking Susp, the solver is triggered. Susp is a demon in that it stays around after being woken. Accessing Susp allows the user to specify orbitally conditions for triggering the solver.
The tolerances mentioned can be specified in lp_setup/4 or lp_set/3 as demon_tolerance.

If several trigger conditions are specified, then any of them will trigger the solver.

When a solver demon runs frequently on relatively small problems, it can be important for efficiency to switch off the presolve option to reduce overheads.

The solver demon calls lp_solve/2 when it wakes up. See the description of lp_solve/2 for the handling of exceptions.

Note: Some external solvers need to write temporary files when they are solving a problem. These are written to the temporary directory specified in ECLiPSe's tmp_dir setting (get_flag/2, set_flag/2).

## Examples

```   Some common invocations patterns for this predicate are the following.
The first triggers the solver only on instantiation of variables to
values that don't fit with the simplex solution:

lp_demon_setup(min(Expr), C, [], [deviating_inst], H)

```