user_compare_candidates

int user_compare_candidates(void *user, branch_obj *can1, branch_obj *can2, double ub, double granularity, int *which_is_better)

**Description:**-
By the time this function is invoked, the children of the current search tree node corresponding to each branching candidate have been pre-solved, i.e., the

`objval`,`termcode`,`iterd`, and`feasible`fields of the`can1`and`can2`structures are filled out. Note that if the termination code for a child is`LP_D_UNBOUNDED`or`LP_D_OBJLIM`, i.e., the dual problem is unbounded or the objective limit is reached, then the objective value of that child is set to`MAXDOUBLE / 2`. Similarly, if the termination code is one of`LP_D_ITLIM`(iteration limit reached),`LP_D_INFEASIBLE`(dual infeasible) or`LP_ABANDONED`(because of numerical difficulties) then the objective value of that child is set to that of the parent's.

Based on this information the user must choose which candidate he considers better and whether to branch on this better one immediately without checking the remaining candidates. As such, there are four possible answers:`FIRST_CANDIDATE_BETTER`,`SECOND_CANDIDATE_BETTER`,`FIRST_CANDIDATE_BETTER_AND_BRANCH_ON_IT`and`SECOND_CANDIDATE_BETTER_AND_BRANCH_ON_IT`. An answer ending with`_AND_BRANCH_ON_IT`indicates that the user wants to terminate the strong branching process and select that particular candidate for branching.

There are several default options. In each of them, objective values of the pre-solved LP relaxations are compared. **Arguments:**-
`void *user`IN Pointer to the user-defined LP data structure. `branch_obj *can1`IN One of the candidates to be compared. `branch_obj *can2`IN The other candidate to be compared. `double ub`IN The current best upper bound. `double granularity`IN Defined tolerance `int *which_is_better`OUT The user's choice. See the description above. **Return values:**-
`USER_ERROR`Error. `DEFAULT`is used.`USER_SUCCESS`User filled out `*which_is_better`.`USER_DEFAULT`Regulated by the `compare_candidates_default`parameter, initially set to`LOWEST_LOW_OBJ`unless overridden by the user.`BIGGEST_DIFFERENCE_OBJ`Prefer the candidate with the biggest difference between highest and lowest objective function values. `LOWEST_LOW_OBJ`Prefer the candidate with the lowest minimum objective function value. The minimum is taken over the objective function values of all the children. `HIGHEST_LOW_OBJ`Prefer the candidate with the highest minimum objective function value. `LOWEST_HIGH_OBJ`Prefer the candidate with the lowest maximum objective function value. `HIGHEST_HIGH_OBJ`Prefer the candidate with the highest maximum objective function value . `LOWEST_LOW_FRAC`Prefer the candidate with the lowest minimum number of fractional variables. The minimum is taken over the number of fractional variables in all the children. Fractional branching options are only available if the fractional branching compile-time option is set in the makefile. `HIGHEST_LOW_FRAC`Prefer the candidate with the highest minimum number of fractional variables. `LOWEST_HIGH_FRAC`Prefer the candidate with the lowest maximum number of fractional variables. `HIGHEST_HIGH_FRAC`Prefer the candidate with the highest maximum number of fractional variables. **Wrapper invoked from:**`select_branching_object()`after the LP relaxations of the children have been pre-solved.

2010-03-24