We propose an ML-based model that automates and expedites the solution of MIPs by predicting the values of variables. Our approach is motivated by the observation that many problem instances share salient features and solution structures since they differ only in few (time-varying) parameters. Examples include transportation and routing problems where decisions need to be re-optimized whenever commodity volumes or link costs change. Our method is the first to exploit the sequential nature of the instances being solved periodically, and can be trained with ``unlabeled'' instances, when exact solutions are unavailable, in a semi-supervised setting. Also, we provide a principled way of transforming the probabilistic predictions into integral solutions. Using a battery of experiments with representative binary MIPs, we show the gains of our model over other ML-based optimization approaches.
We introduce Gluon Time Series (GluonTS, available at https://gluon-ts.mxnet.io), a library for deep-learning-based time series modeling. GluonTS simplifies the development of and experimentation with time series models for common tasks such as forecasting or anomaly detection. It provides all necessary components and tools that scientists need for quickly building new models, for efficiently running and analyzing experiments and for evaluating model accuracy.
We present a scalable and robust Bayesian inference method for linear state space models. The method is applied to demand forecasting in the context of a large e-commerce platform, paying special attention to intermittent and bursty target statistics. Inference is approximated by the Newton-Raphson algorithm, reduced to linear-time Kalman smoothing, which allows us to operate on several orders of magnitude larger problems than previous related work. In a study on large real-world sales datasets, our method outperforms competing approaches on fast and medium moving items.