I have the following problem:

Depending on my continuous optimization variable $S_m$, I would like to introduce a binary variable $x_m$, which, depending on the value of $S_m$ (greater or less than 0) receives the value 0 or 1. The whole thing is to be repeated for 12 months. I have already created both variables, I just don't know how to link them, so that $x_m$ has no influence on $S_m$, and the value for $x_m$ depends purely on the value of $S_m$.


In addition to what @Richard mentioned:

  1. You can consider $a=0$ and $b=\epsilon$ in @Richard's answer.
  2. Here you can find how special functions in the constraint can be modeled using Gurobi. Yours is defining an indicator variable for $S_m$ to find out whether the value of your variable is positive or negative.

Edit: you can model it as follow:

$$S_m \leq 150x_m-\epsilon(1-x_m)$$ $$-100(1-x_m)+\epsilon x_m\leq S_m$$

A positive $S_m$ will force $x_m=1$ via the first constraint. A negative $S_m$ will make $x_m=0$ while the second constraint is active.

  • $\begingroup$ what do you mean by consider 𝑏=𝜖 ? what does 𝜖 stands for? $\endgroup$ – Handballer73 Mar 5 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Handballer73 it is a very small positive constant value. $\endgroup$ – Oguz Toragay Mar 5 at 14:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks a lot, i will try tomorrow $\endgroup$ – Handballer73 Mar 5 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ thanks again! I understand the equations. Only how do I implement this exactly in Gurobi (Java). I add the code in a new answer..maybe someone can have a look. Also, is there a java command for this very small constant or just enter a very small value? $\endgroup$ – Handballer73 Mar 7 at 10:12

The easiest would probably be to model it as follows:

$$ S_m \leq a + bx_m \\ S_m \geq ax_m $$

where $a$ is the switch and $a+b$ is the upper bound for variable $S_m$. In this case, if $S_m< a$, then $x_m$ has to be 0 (otherwise this is infeasible). Similarly, if $S_m > a$, then $x_m$ has to be 1. The key question here is what you want to happen if $S_m = a$, but that is something that depends on your business requirements.

To answer your questions, you can model these things using a simple linear constraint, see the Gurobi Java documentation here.

  • $\begingroup$ what exactly do you mean by a is the switch. Or I have just a thinking error. My lower limit is -100, the upper limit is 150, but as I said, the question is whether S_m is greater than or less than zero, and thus whether x_m is 1 or 0, which I need in other constraints. $\endgroup$ – Handballer73 Mar 5 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ahh, ok. In that case you would have $a=0$ and $b=150$: $$ S_m \leq 150x_m \\ S_m \geq -100 + 100x_m $$ You still have to decide what to do at $S_m=0$ though, because that behaviour will depend on the objective function. $\endgroup$ – Richard Mar 8 at 8:28
for (int m = 0; m < (int)this.Anzahl_Monate; m++)
        constra = new GRBLinExpr();
        constra.addTerm(150, x_m[m]);
        constra.addTerm(0.000001, x_m[m]);
        model.addConstr(constra, GRB.GREATER_EQUAL, S_m[m], "a");
        constrb = new GRBLinExpr();
        constrb.addTerm(100, x_m[m]);
        constrb.addTerm(0.000001, x_m[m]);
        model.addConstr(constrb, GRB.LESS_EQUAL, S_m[m], "b" + m);
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would be worth pointing out that that 0.000001 was chosen as the tolerance to break the equality at $S_m=0$. $\endgroup$ – Richard Mar 8 at 8:31

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