I would like to seek some advice on modeling the following logical condition:

Given two groups of binary decision variables $A_{i}, i=1...n,$ and $B_{j}, j=1...m$.

$A_{i}=1- B_{j}, \forall i, \forall j$

i.e., if one of $A_{i}=1$, all $B_{j}$ must be zero, and vice-versa.

Besides, the above equality constraint, I would like to include tighter cuts, but have only managed to come up with the following:

$\left\lvert B\right\rvert *A_{i}\le \left\lvert B\right\rvert-\sum_{j=1}^{j=m}B_{j}, \forall i$

$A_{i}\ge 1-\sum_{j=1}^{j=m}B_{j}, \forall i$

Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ Your first constraint and subsequent description are inconsistent, Did you mean instead $A_i\le 1-B_j$? $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Oct 16, 2021 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Nope, maybe it would help to retain the first one and ignore the remaining constraints. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Oct 16, 2021 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ I am kinda perplexed, I just both tried the equality and inequality versions. It seems that inequality version outperforms the equality version. May I ask if you could offer some insights? Thank you $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Oct 16, 2021 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hard to say without seeing your full model. Probably best to open a separate question for that. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Oct 16, 2021 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Oct 16, 2021 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


Via conjunctive normal form: $$ A_i \implies \bigwedge_j \lnot B_j \\ \lnot A_i \lor \bigwedge_j \lnot B_j \\ \bigwedge_j (\lnot A_i \lor \lnot B_j) \\ \bigwedge_j (1-A_i +1- B_j\ge 1) \\ \bigwedge_j (A_i +B_j\le 1) \\ $$ The other implication $$B_j \implies \bigwedge_i \lnot A_i$$ yields the same linear constraints.

From your comment, you also want to enforce $$\lnot A_i \implies \bigwedge_j B_j,$$ which yields $A_i+B_j\ge 1$. Together, these two sets of inequality constraints become the equality constraints $A_i+B_j=1$. There are only two solutions to this linear system, and you can capture that more compactly (with $n+m$ constraints instead of $nm$ constraints) by introducing a single binary variable $z$, with $A_i=z$ for all $i$ and $B_j=1-z$ for all $j$.


I would add an auxiliary variable $z\in\{0,1\}$:

$$ z \geq a_i \ \ \forall a_i \in A $$

Then you can write:

$$ b_j \leq 1-z \ \ \forall b_j \in B $$

If $z=0$, then the constraint is redundant. However, if $z=1$, then all elements of $B$ have to be 0.

Update: @RobPratt correctly pointed out that the above formulation allows for $a_i = b_j = 0$, which violates the requirement the initial requirements. To fix this, I suggest to add:

$$ z \leq \sum_i a_i \\ \sum_j b_j = 1 -z $$

  • $\begingroup$ Dear Richard, may I ask if you meant that I should use the two constraints which you suggested to replace the two which I have originally created? Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Oct 16, 2021 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ This formulation allows $A_i=0$ and $B_j=0$, which violates $A_i=1-B_j$. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Oct 17, 2021 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, your modification is too strong because $\sum_j b_j = 1-z$ allows at most one $b_j$ to be $1$. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Oct 18, 2021 at 14:06

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