# Quick examples¶

The short examples below are all self-contained and can be copied to a Python source file or pasted into a Python console.

## Projection onto a convex hull¶

We solve the problem which asks for the projection of the point onto the convex hull of the columns of :

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import numpy as np
import picos as pc
from matplotlib import pyplot
from scipy import spatial

# Make the result reproducible.
np.random.seed(12)

# Define the data.
n = 20
A = np.random.rand(2, n)
b = np.array([1, 0])

# Define the decision variable.
x = pc.RealVariable("x", n)

# Define and solve the problem.
P = pc.Problem()
P.minimize = abs(A*x - b)
P += pc.sum(x) == 1, x >= 0
P.solve(solver="cvxopt")

# Obtain the projection point.
p = (A*x).np

# Plot the results.
V = spatial.ConvexHull(A.T).vertices
figure = pyplot.figure(figsize=(8.7, 4))
figure.gca().set_aspect("equal")
pyplot.axis("off")
pyplot.fill(A.T[V, 0], A.T[V, 1], "lightgray")
pyplot.plot(A.T[:, 0], A.T[:, 1], "k.")
pyplot.plot(*zip(b, p), "k.--")
pyplot.annotate("$\mathrm{conv} \{a_1, \ldots, a_n\}$", [0.25, 0.5])
pyplot.annotate("$b$", b + 1/100)
pyplot.annotate("$Ax$", p + 1/100)
pyplot.tight_layout()
pyplot.show() Example notes

• The Python builtin function abs (absolute value) is understood as the default norm. For real vectors, this is the Euclidean norm.

• The attribute np returns the value of a PICOS expression as a NumPy type.

• The choice of the CVXOPT solver is optional. Explicit solver choice is made throughout the documentation to make its automatic validation more reliable.

## Worst-case projection¶

We solve the same problem as before but now we assume that the point to be projected is only known to live inside an ellipsoid around its original location. In this case we cannot hope to obtain an exact projection but we may compute a point on the convex hull of the columns of that minimizes the worst-case distance to . This approach is known as robust optimization. Formally, we solve the min-max problem where is an ellipsoidal perturbation set (for some invertible matrix ):

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import numpy as np
import picos as pc
from matplotlib import pyplot
from matplotlib.patches import Ellipse
from scipy import spatial

# Make the result reproducible.
np.random.seed(12)

# Define the data.
n = 20
A = np.random.rand(2, n)
b = np.array([1, 0])

# Define an ellipsoidal uncertainty set Θ and a perturbation parameter θ.
# The perturbation is later added to the data, rendering it uncertain.
Theta = pc.uncertain.ConicPerturbationSet("θ", 2)
Theta.bound(  # Let ‖Lθ‖ ≤ 1.
abs([[ 5,  0],
[ 0, 10]] * Theta.element) <= 1
)
theta = Theta.compile()

# Define the decision variable.
x = pc.RealVariable("x", n)

# Define and solve the problem.
P = pc.Problem()
P.minimize = abs(A*x - (b + theta))
P += pc.sum(x) == 1, x >= 0
P.solve(solver="cvxopt")

# Obtain the projection point.
p = (A*x).np

# Plot the results.
V = spatial.ConvexHull(A.T).vertices
E = Ellipse(b, 0.4, 0.2, color="lightgray", ec="k", ls="--")
figure = pyplot.figure(figsize=(8.7, 4))
axis = figure.gca()
axis.set_aspect("equal")
axis.set_xlim(0.5, 1.21)
axis.set_ylim(-0.11, 0.5)
pyplot.axis("off")
pyplot.fill(A.T[V, 0], A.T[V, 1], "lightgray")
pyplot.plot(A.T[:, 0], A.T[:, 1], "k.")
pyplot.plot(*zip(b, p), "k.")
pyplot.annotate("$\mathrm{conv} \{a_1, \ldots, a_n\}$", [0.25, 0.5])
pyplot.annotate("$b$", b + 1/200)
pyplot.annotate("$Ax$", p + 1/200)
pyplot.tight_layout()
pyplot.show() Example notes

• One can also scale and shift the parameter obtained from a UnitBallPerturbationSet to obtain ellipsoidal uncertainty. Its parent class ConicPerturbationSet that we showcased is more versatile and can represent any conically bounded perturbation set through repeated use of its bound method.

• A report of the robust and distributionally robust optimization models supported by PICOS and their mathematical background is found in .

## Optimal Minecraft mob farm¶

Minecraft is a popular sandbox video game in which some players aim to build efficient automated factories, referred to as farms. One type of farm waits for hostile creatures (mobs) to appear on a platform, then pushes them off the platform with a water dispenser in the center to collect any valuables that they might carry. Such a farm is threatened by the possibility of Spiders to appear, which are too large for the collection mechanism to handle. Fortunately, the Spider requires a area to spawn on while the other mobs require just a single free cell, so Spider spawns can be prevented by blocking off some of the platform’s cells.

In the following we compute an optimal platform that maximizes the number of cells that mobs can spawn on while admitting no spawnable region for Spiders. We further compute an optimal highly symmetric (w.r.t. both axes and diagonals) solution for those who value looks over efficiency:

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import picos as pc
from matplotlib import colors, pyplot

# Represent the spawning platform by a 15×15 binary matrix variable S where a
# one represents a spawnable field and a zero one that is not spawnable.
S = pc.BinaryVariable("S", (15, 15))

# Maximize the number of spawnable blocks.
P = pc.Problem("Optimal Mob Farm")
P.maximize = pc.sum(S)

# The actual platform is shaped like a diamond of cells with taxicab distance
# of at most seven from the center block. Mark all other cells not spawnable.
P += [
S[x, y] == 0
for x in range(S.shape)
for y in range(S.shape)
if abs(x - 7) + abs(y - 7) > 7
]

# The center block is not spawnable due to the water dispenser.
P += S[7, 7] == 0

# Additionally, we require that there is no 3x3 spawnable area.
P += [
sum([
S[a, b]
for a in range(x - 1, x + 2)
for b in range(y - 1, y + 2)
]) <= 8
for x in range(1, S.shape - 1)
for y in range(1, S.shape - 1)
]

# Solve the problem and store the optimal platform.
P.solve(solver="glpk")
S_opt = S.np

# Now modify the problem to require a more symmetric solution.
P += [S[x, :] == S[14 - x, :] for x in range(S.shape // 2)]  # Vertical.
P += S == S.T  # Diagonal.

# Re-solve the updated problem.
P.solve()
S_sym = S.np

# Display both solutions.
figure, axes = pyplot.subplots(ncols=2, figsize=(8.7, 5))
titles = ["An optimal platform", "An optimal symmetric platform"]
cmap = colors.ListedColormap(["#1c1c1c", "#78ae00", "#d35e1a"])

for axis, title, solution in zip(axes, titles, [S_opt, S_sym]):
solution[7, 7] = 2  # Mark the center.
axis.axis("off")
axis.set_title(title)
axis.pcolormesh(solution, edgecolor="#2f2f2f", linewidth=0.5, cmap=cmap)

pyplot.tight_layout()
pyplot.show() Example notes

• Excluding the center, the platform has 112 cells. The solutions show that an optimal platform has 9 obstacles and 103 free cells (92.0%) while an optimal symmetric platform has 12 obstacles and thus only 100 free cells (89.3%).

• The two symmetry conditions require symmetry along one axis and one main diagonal, respectively. Symmetry along the remaining axis and diagonal is obtained implicitly. With an adjustment it can be seen that only requiring axial symmetry does not increase efficiency.