# Variable Sensitivity Analysis

I am working with the following MIP : \begin{alignat}2\min&\quad\sum_{j\in J} c_j x_j\\\text{s.t.}&\quad l_j \le f(x_j,t_j) \le u_j \quad &\forall j \in J \\&\quad x_j \in \mathbb{N} \quad &\forall j \in J \\&\quad t_j \in \mathbb{R}^+ \quad &\forall j \in J \end{alignat}

where $$f$$ is a linear function, $$x_j$$ are decision variables and $$t_j$$ represents starting time for task $$j$$.

I would like to perform some sort of "sensitivity analysis" on variables $$t_j$$ (maybe sensitivity analysis is the wrong term, feel free to correct me).

Once I solve the MIP, the solver outputs a set of starting times $$(t_1,\cdots,t_n)$$. I would like to determine the earliest and latest starting times for each task, such that the optimal solution is unchanged (in terms of cost).

Here is my current approach :

1. Solve the MIP. Let $$x^*$$ be the optimal values of $$x$$ variables.
2. Solve the MIP again, with the additional constraint $$x=x^*$$, and minimize $$\sum\limits_j t_j$$.
3. Solve the MIP again, with the additional constraint $$x=x^*$$, and maximize $$\sum\limits_j t_j$$.

Steps 2) and 3) sequentially give me a set of "earliest" and "latest" starting times.

Is there a more straightforward way to achieve this? Any approach is welcome.

• AFAIK, one of the ways to calculate the earliest and latest starting times (for each task) sound like float or slack in the project schedule problem that is: the amount of time that a task in a project network can be delayed without causing a delay to a) subsequent tasks, b) project completion date. Project scheduling MIP formulations contain such the constraints which could be helpful. Dec 3, 2019 at 8:38
• @A.Omidi yes that is pretty much what I'm looking for, if you have specific references or know how to write such a formulation for the above problem, feel free :) Dec 3, 2019 at 9:13