## Techniques for exploring the suboptimal setJ. Skaf and S. Boyd
The -suboptimal set for an optimization problem is the set of feasible points with objective value within of optimal. In this paper we describe some basic techniques for quantitatively characterizing , for a given value of , when the original problem is convex, by solving a modest number of related convex optimization problems. We give methods for computing the bounding box of , estimating its diameter, and forming ellipsoidal approximations. Quantitative knowledge of can be very useful in applications. In a design problem, where the objective function is some cost, large is good: It means that there are many designs with nearly minimum cost, and we can use this design freedom to improve a secondary objective. In an estimation problem, where the objective function is some measure of plausibility, large is bad: It means that quite different parameter values are almost as plausible as the most plausible parameter value. |