Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The method of centers is a well-known method for solving nonlinear programming problems having inequality constraints. Pironneau and Polak have recently presented a new version of this method. In the new method, the direction of search is obtained, at each iteration, by solving a convex quadratic programming problem. This direction finding subprocedure is essentially insensitive to the dimension of the space on which the problem is defined. Moreover, the method of Pironneau and Polak is known to converge linearly for finite-dimensional convex programs for which the objective function has a positive-definite Hessian near the solution (and for which the functions involved are twice continuously differentiable). In the present paper, the method and a completely implementable version of it are shown to converge linearly for a very general class of finite-dimensional problems; the class is determined by a second-order sufficiency condition and includes both convex and nonconvex problems. The arguments employed here are based on the indirect sufficiency method of Hestenes. Furthermore, the arguments can be modified to prove linear convergence for a certain class of infinite-dimensional convex problems, thus providing an answer to a conjecture made by Pironneau and Polak.
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