On search directions in interior-point methods for semidefinite programming

Michael Todd

We discuss several different search directions which can be used in primal-dual interior-point methods for semidefinite programming problems and investigate their theoretical properties, including scale invariance, primal-dual symmetry, and whether they always generate well-defined directions. Among the directions satisfying all but at most two of these desirable properties are the Alizadeh-Haeberly-Overton, Helmberg-Rendl-Vanderbei-Wolkowicz/Kojima-Shida-Hara/Monteiro, Nesterov-Todd, Gu, and Toh directions, as well as directions we will call the MTW and Half directions. The first five of these appear to be the best in our limited computational testing also.

Technical Report No. 1205, School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3801.

Contact: miketodd@cs.cornell.edu