The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

401-4904-00L  Combinatorial Optimization

SemesterSpring Semester 2019
LecturersR. Zenklusen
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractCombinatorial Optimization deals with efficiently finding a provably strong solution among a finite set of options. This course discusses key combinatorial structures and techniques to design efficient algorithms for combinatorial optimization problems. We put a strong emphasis on polyhedral methods, which proved to be a powerful and unifying tool throughout combinatorial optimization.
ObjectiveThe goal of this lecture is to get a thorough understanding of various modern combinatorial optimization techniques with an emphasis on polyhedral approaches. Students will learn a general toolbox to tackle a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems.
ContentKey topics include:
- Polyhedral descriptions;
- Combinatorial uncrossing;
- Ellipsoid method;
- Equivalence between separation and optimization;
- Design of efficient approximation algorithms for hard problems.
Lecture notesLecture notes will be available online.
Literature- Bernhard Korte, Jens Vygen: Combinatorial Optimization. 5th edition, Springer, 2012.
- Alexander Schrijver: Combinatorial Optimization: Polyhedra and Efficiency, Springer, 2003. This work has 3 volumes.
Prerequisites / NoticePrior exposure to Linear Programming can greatly help the understanding of the material. We therefore recommend that students interested in Combinatorial Optimization get familiarized with Linear Programming before taking this lecture.