Data-Driven Methods for Optimization Under Uncertainty with Application to Water Allocation
AuthorLove, David Keith
Distributionally robust optimization
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractStochastic programming is a mathematical technique for decision making under uncertainty using probabilistic statements in the problem objective and constraints. In practice, the distribution of the unknown quantities are often known only through observed or simulated data. This dissertation discusses several methods of using this data to formulate, solve, and evaluate the quality of solutions of stochastic programs. The central contribution of this dissertation is to investigate the use of techniques from simulation and statistics to enable data-driven models and methods for stochastic programming. We begin by extending the method of overlapping batches from simulation to assessing solution quality in stochastic programming. The Multiple Replications Procedure, where multiple stochastic programs are solved using independent batches of samples, has previously been used for assessing solution quality. The Overlapping Multiple Replications Procedure overlaps the batches, thus losing the independence between samples, but reducing the variance of the estimator without affecting its bias. We provide conditions under which the optimality gap estimators are consistent, the variance reduction benefits are obtained, and give a computational illustration of the small-sample behavior. Our second result explores the use of phi-divergences for distributionally robust optimization, also known as ambiguous stochastic programming. The phi-divergences provide a method of measuring distance between probability distributions, are widely used in statistical inference and information theory, and have recently been proposed to formulate data-driven stochastic programs. We provide a novel classification of phi-divergences for stochastic programming and give recommendations for their use. A value of data condition is derived and the asymptotic behavior of the phi-divergence constrained stochastic program is described. Then a decomposition-based solution method is proposed to solve problems computationally. The final portion of this dissertation applies the phi-divergence method to a problem of water allocation in a developing region of Tucson, AZ. In this application, we integrate several sources of uncertainty into a single model, including (1) future population growth in the region, (2) amount of water available from the Colorado River, and (3) the effects of climate variability on water demand. Estimates of the frequency and severity of future water shortages are given and we evaluate the effectiveness of several infrastructure options.
Degree ProgramGraduate College