Exact reliability optimization for series-parallel graphs using convex envelopes

Javiera Barrera, Eduardo Moreno, Gonzalo Muñoz, Pablo Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given its wide spectrum of applications, the classical problem of all-terminal network reliability evaluation remains a highly relevant problem in network design. The associated optimization problem—to find a network with the best possible reliability under multiple constraints—presents an even more complex challenge, which has been addressed in the scientific literature but usually under strong assumptions over failures probabilities and/or the network topology. In this work, we propose a novel reliability optimization framework for network design with failures probabilities that are independent but not necessarily identical. We leverage the linear-time evaluation procedure for network reliability in the series-parallel graphs of Satyanarayana and Wood (1985) to formulate the reliability optimization problem as a mixed-integer nonlinear optimization problem. To solve this nonconvex problem, we use classical convex envelopes of bilinear functions, introduce custom cutting planes, and propose a new family of convex envelopes for expressions that appear in the evaluation of network reliability. Furthermore, we exploit the refinements produced by spatial branch-and-bound to locally strengthen our convex relaxations. Our experiments show that, using our framework, one can efficiently obtain optimal solutions in challenging instances of this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-248
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • convex envelopes
  • network reliability
  • nonlinear optimization
  • reliability optimization
  • series-parallel graphs


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