Algorithms for the power-p Steiner tree problem in the Euclidean plane

Our paper “Algorithms for the power-p Steiner tree problem in the Euclidean plane” by Christina Burt, Alysson Costa and Charl Ras has been published on a special issue on Exact and Heuristic Solutions for Optimization Problems from RITA.

Link to the full text.


We study the problem of constructing minimum power-$p$ Euclidean $k$-Steiner trees in the plane. The problem is to find a tree of minimum cost spanning a set of given terminals where, as opposed to the minimum spanning tree problem, at most $k$ additional nodes (Steiner points) may be introduced anywhere in the plane. The cost of an edge is its length to the power of $p$ (where $p\geq 1$), and the cost of a network is the sum of all edge costs. We propose two heuristics: a “beaded” minimum spanning tree heuristic; and a heuristic which alternates between minimum spanning tree construction and a local fixed topology minimisation procedure for locating the Steiner points. We show that the performance ratio $\kappa$ of the beaded-MST heuristic satisfies $\sqrt{3}^{p-1}(1+2^{1-p})\leq \kappa\leq 3(2^{p-1})$. We then provide two mixed-integer nonlinear programming formulations for the problem, and extend several important geometric properties into valid inequalities. Finally, we combine the valid inequalities with warm-starting and preprocessing to obtain computational improvements for the $p=2$ case.