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Scenario Optimization

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July 23, 2020

Uncertainty in the parameters of a mathematical program may present a modeller with considerable difficulties. Most approaches in the stochastic programming literature place an apparent heavy data and computational burden on the user and as such are often intractable. Moreover, the models themselves are difficult to understand. This probably explains why one 9se ldom sees a fundamentally stochastic model being solved using stochastic programming techniques. Instead, it is common practice to solve a deterministic model with different assumed scenarios for the random coefficients. In this paper we present a simple approach to solving a stochastic model, based on a particular method for combining such scenario solutions into a single, feasible policy. The approach is computationally simple and easy to understand. Because of its generality, it can handle multiple competing objectives, complex stochastic constraints and may be applied in contexts other than optimization. To illustrate our model, we consider two distinct, important applications: the optimal management of a hydro-thermal generating system and an application taken from portfolio optimization.

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