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5. Rank-Deficient Systems with Inequalities

5.5 Example

The presented framework for the rigorous computation of a general solution of an ICLS problem was applied to a small two-dimensional synthetic example. We chose this setup because of its simplicity which allows to concentrate on details of the presented framework and exploit the fact that it is possible to explicitly draw the objective function of a two-dimensional problem.

Two more applications—the task of estimating optimal repetition numbers in an underdetermined system, and a setup with strict welding tolerances—are used to underline the potential of the framework for classical geodetic applications. Both examples can be found in the applications chapter (Sect. 7.3.1 and Sect. 7.3.2, respectively).

5.5. Example 73

5.5.1 2D Synthetic Example with 1D Manifold The two summands of the weighted sum

`i+vi =x1+ 2x2 (5.19)

shall be estimated in a Gauss-Markov model. We assume each observation to follow a normal distribution with a standard deviation of one and state that all observations are independent and identically distributed. Therefore, the VCV matrix Σis an identity matrix. It should be noted that this is done for reasons of simplicity only, as the proposed framework is able to handle the case of correlated observations, too.

The resulting two-dimensional system clearly has a rank defect of one, as it is solely possible to estimate one summand depending on the other one


 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

 x1


=Ax. (5.20)

Obviously, both columns of the design matrixAare linearly dependent. Given the following synthetic observations

`T =

23.2 16.4 12.9 8.2 13.7

, (5.21)

we will demonstrate the computation of the unconstrained OLS solution in Sect., as this is identical to the first steps of our framework. Next, we will introduce two different sets of constraints to cover case 1 where manifold and feasible region intersect (Sect. as well as case 2, in which there is no such intersection (Sect. The isolines of the objective function are shown in Fig. 5.1(a). Unconstrained OLS Solution The elements of the normal equations read


5 10 10 20

, n=AT`=

74.40 148.80

. (5.22)

Applying the Gauss-Jordan algorithm to solve

N x=n (5.23)


5 10 74.40 10 20 148.80 1 2 14.88

0 0 0.

|: 5

| −2(I)


Thus, inserting (2.17) and (2.15) in (2.11) the general solution reads xeOLS(λ) =

14.88 0

| {z } xOLSP

+ −2


| {z } Xhom

λ=xOLSP +Xhomλ. (5.25)

As expected, there is no unique optimal solution but a manifold, which is expressed by an arbi-trary particular solution xOLSP and a solution Xhom of the homogeneous system. The manifold is represented by the dashed black line in Fig. 5.1(a) for the arbitrarily chosen interval2.44≤λ≤7.44.

−60 −4 −2 0 2 4 6 2

4 6 8 10 12


x 2

200 400 600 800 1000 1200

Figure 5.3:Contour lines of the objective function of case 1.Red lines represent constraints, the infeasible region is shaded. The dashed black line indicates the manifold of solutions. The green cross is theL1 norm solution, the black circle the L2 solution. For comparison the solution using a pseudoinverse (blue star) is shown, too. Appropriately scaled unit spheres are depicted in orange (L1) and light blue (L2). Figure modified from Roese-Koerner and Schuh (2015). Case 1: Intersection of Manifold and Feasible Region Introduction of the constraints

x1 ≤2, x2 ≤10 (5.26a)

and thus BTx=

1 0 0 1


2 10

=b (5.26b)

restricts the manifold as can be seen in Fig. 5.3. Transforming the constraints in the point xOLSP of the particular solution with respect to the free parameterλaccording to (5.8) yields

−2λ≤ −12.88, λ ≤7, (5.27a)

leading to BTλλ=

−2 1


−12.88 7

=bλ. (5.27b)

Now, a feasibility problem is solved to determine if a feasible solution exists or if the constraints are contradictory. For this trivial example one can easily find a solution that fulfills all constraints, e.g., λ = 7. Thus, as there is an intersection of manifold and feasible set (cf. Fig. 5.3) a second optimization problem in the nullspace of the design matrix has to be solved. We chose to examine the different effects of minimizing the length of the parameter vector with respect to the L1 or L2 norm:

5.5. Example 75

Synthetic 2D example: Nullspace optimization objective function: ||xOLSP +Xhomλ||p . . . Min constraints: BTλλ=

−2 1


−12.88 10

=bλ optim. variable: λ∈IR.

The resulting value eλ is used to compute the shortest solution vector that fulfills all constraints.

Depending on the chosen norm this results in either xeICLS,LP 2 =xOLSP +XhomL2 =

2.00 6.44

(black circle in Fig. 5.3) (5.28) or

xeICLS,LP 1 =xOLSP +XhomL1 = 0.00


(green cross in Fig. 5.3), (5.29) respectively. As expected, utilization of the L1 norm in the nullspace optimization step leads to a sparse solution without an increase in the sum of squared residuals of the original problem.

Considering the changed particular solution, we transform the constraints again and achieve as final result

xeL2 =xeICLS,LP 2 +xOLShom(λ) = 2.00


+λ −2


(5.30a) subject to

−2 1


0 0.56

, (5.30b)


xeL1 =xeICLS,LP 1 +xOLShom(λ) = 0.00


+λ −2


(5.31a) subject to

−2 1


2 2.57

, (5.31b)

respectively. Due to the introduction of inequality constraints the manifold is no longer a line, but a line segment. The constraint x1 ≤2 prevents that the ICLS solution is identical to the solution obtained via the pseudoinverse. This can also be seen in the final solution of theL2 case (5.30), as there is one value on the right hand side of the transformed constraints that is zero—meaning that the constraint is active. As the absolute value of the second transformed constraint is small, it can be concluded that the manifold is only a small line segment which is also depicted in Fig. 5.3. Case 2: Manifold and Feasible Region are Disjunct

This section deals with the same synthetic example as described in Sect., but the second constraint is narrowed to demonstrate the case, in which the introduction of inequality constraints resolves the manifold and yields a unique solution. Let the constraints be

x1≤2, x2≤2, (5.32a)

leading to BTx=

1 0 0 1


2 2

=b. (5.32b)

This setup is depicted in Fig. 5.1(c). The constraint transformation yields

−2λ≤ −12.88, λ ≤2 (5.33a)

and thus BTλλ=

−2 1


−12.88 2

=bλ. (5.33b)

These new constraints (5.33b) are contradictory as—due to constraint 2—the maximal feasible value ofλis 2, which is not enough to satisfy the first inequality. Therefore, one particular solution xICLSP of the original problem and the corresponding Lagrange multipliers k are computed using the binding-direction primal active-set method for rank-deficient systems described in Sect. 5.2.2, resulting in

xICLSP = 2.00


, k=

88.8 177.60

. (5.34)

As there is no active constraint that is parallel to the manifold of solutions, the introduction of inequality constraints resolves the manifold and the computed particular solution

xeICLS=xICLSP = 2.00


(5.35) is unique. This can be geometrically verified, considering Fig. 5.1(c), wherexeICLSis shown asgreen cross.