# Solution check¶

Solutions obtained from the solver are automatically checked for correctness with given tolerances (see Solver options sol:chk:....)

There are two checking modes: “realistic” and “idealistic”. For linear and quadratic models they are equivalent. Differences can arise for models with other non-linear expressions.

In “realistic” mode, any expressions computed by the solver and reported via an auxiliary variable, are trusted with a tolerance. In “idealistic” mode, all expression trees are recomputed.

## Motivation¶

Consider the disjunction constraint

C: y<=6 or z>=10;


With y=6.0000000001 and z=9.9999999999, and assuming the solver’s feasibility tolerance is at a typical value (such as $$10^{-6}$$), most Mathematical Programming solvers consider the disjunction satisfied. And, from a practical viewpoint, it is (given finite-precision computations).

Our “realistic” checking mode does exactly this: it trusts the solver results up to a tolerance.

In contrast, AMPL reports the constraint violated:

ampl: let y:=6.0000000001;
ampl: let z:=9.9999999999;
ampl: display C.val;
C.val = 0


That is, when expressions y<=6 and z>=10 are re-evaluated and their results substituted into C, C holds false.

The role of the “idealistic” checking mode is to warn the user about the fact, that even if the solver has a correct solution up to its tolerances (which is examined by the “realistic” mode), it can be wrong for a tolerance-unaware checker.

By default, “idealistic” check is performed for objective values only, see example below. To enable it for constraints, use option chk:mode.

## Warning format¶

To explain the solution check warning format, let’s solve a relaxed version of the following model:

var x integer <= 0;
var y integer;
minimize TotalSum: x - 2*y;
subject to C1: -x + 21*y >= 2;
subject to C2: -3*x + 2*y <= 1;
subject to C3: 20*x + y <= 200;


Running Gurobi with option feasrelax 1, we trick MP (it does not know the effect of feasrelax).

ampl: option solver gurobi;
ampl: option gurobi_options 'feasrelax 1';
ampl: option gurobi_auxfiles rc;      ## To pass model names
ampl: solve;
Gurobi 10.0.2:   alg:feasrelax = 1
Gurobi 10.0.2: optimal solution; feasrelax objective 160552
5 simplex iterations
1 branching nodes
absmipgap=2, relmipgap=1.2457e-05
------------ WARNINGS ------------
WARNING:  "Solution Check"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
- 2 original variable(s) violate bounds,
up to 1E+05 (abs, item 'y'), up to 1E+00 (rel, item 'y')
Algebraic expression violations:
- 1 linear constraint(s),
up to 2E+00 (abs, item 'C1'), up to 1E+00 (rel, item 'C1')
Objective value violations:
- 1 objective value(s) violated,
up to 2E+05 (abs, item 'TotalSum')

WARNING:  "Solution Check (Idealistic)"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
Objective value violations:
- 1 objective value(s) violated,
up to 2E+05 (abs, item 'TotalSum')
AMPL may evaluate constraints/objectives differently
than the solver, see mp.ampl.com/solution-check.html.


After the solver log we see 2 warnings. The first is Solution Check. This reports the “realistic” violations. In square brackets we see numeric solver options relevant for checking. Then follows information on variable bound violations. It includes the number of violations (2), maximal absolute violation and variable name, as well as maximal relative violation.

Paragraph Algebraic expression violations presents similar information, for each expression type (in the case :linrange.) Paragraph Objective value violations does that for objectives.

The 2nd warning is Solution Check (Idealistic). As the idealistic check is performed by default for objectives only, this warning repeats the information about objective value violation.

## “Realistic” solution check¶

In this mode, variable values are taken as they were reported by the solver (with possible modifications via options sol:chk:round and sol:chk:prec.) This check is enough for most practical situations, and its warnings mean that the solver’s reported solution violates checking tolerances.

------------ WARNINGS ------------
WARNING:  "Solution Check"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
Algebraic expression violations:
up to 1E+00 (item 'socp')


In this example, realistic check reports a constraint violation of 1.0, which can mean a significant violation if the constraint’s right-hand side is of moderate magnitude (in this case zero, that’s why the relative violation is missing).

## “Idealistic” solution check¶

In this mode, non-linear expressions are recomputed and compared to solver values. The recomputation is performed similar to how AMPL does it when asked to display objective value or constraint body / slack. Thus, “idealistic” violations mean objective and constraint expressions reported in AMPL may be different from the solver. While the most serious type of violations are the “realistic” ones, the “idealistic” mode warns about (significant) differences when expressions are recomputed from scratch. Consider the following example.

var x >=0, <=100;
maximize Total: if x<=5 and x>=5.00000000001 then 10;


Most solvers apply a constraint feasibility tolerance of the order $$10^{-6}$$.

ampl: option solver gurobi;
ampl: solve;
Gurobi 10.0.2: optimal solution; objective 10
0 simplex iterations

------------ WARNINGS ------------
WARNING:  "Solution Check (Idealistic)"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
Objective value violations:
- 1 objective value(s) violated,
up to 1E+01 (abs)
AMPL may evaluate constraints/objectives differently
than the solver, see mp.ampl.com/solution-check.html.

ampl: display x;
x = 5


We see that x=5 satisfies the if with that tolerance. Thus, our realistic check passes, but the idealistic check complains. Indeed, if we ask AMPL to recompute the objective value:

ampl: display Total;
Total = 0


we see that AMPL does it “idealistically” (it does not know about solver tolerances, or whether the user has provided variable values manually.)

To see which expressions cause the violation, use driver option chk:mode:

ampl: option gurobi_options 'chk:mode=1023';
ampl: solve;
Gurobi 10.0.2:   sol:chk:mode = 1023
Gurobi 10.0.2: optimal solution; objective 10
0 simplex iterations

------------ WARNINGS ------------
WARNING:  "Solution Check (Idealistic)"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
Algebraic expression violations:
- 1 constraint(s) of type ':ifthen',
up to 1E+01 (abs)
Logical expression violations:
- 1 constraint(s) of type ':and'
Objective value violations:
- 1 objective value(s) violated,
up to 1E+01 (abs)
AMPL may evaluate constraints/objectives differently
than the solver, see mp.ampl.com/solution-check.html.


Hint: to display AMPL model names, set option (solver_)auxfiles rc; as follows:

ampl: option gurobi_auxfiles rc;
ampl: solve;
Gurobi 10.0.2:   sol:chk:mode = 1023
Gurobi 10.0.2: optimal solution; objective 10
0 simplex iterations

------------ WARNINGS ------------
WARNING:  "Solution Check (Idealistic)"
[ sol:chk:feastol=1e-06, :feastolrel=1e-06, :inttol=1e-05,
:round='', :prec='' ]
Algebraic expression violations:
- 1 constraint(s) of type ':ifthen',
up to 1E+01 (abs, item 'Total_11_')
Logical expression violations:
- 1 constraint(s) of type ':and',
(item 'Total_7_')
Objective value violations:
- 1 objective value(s) violated,
up to 1E+01 (abs, item 'Total')
AMPL may evaluate constraints/objectives differently
than the solver, see mp.ampl.com/solution-check.html.


## Remedies¶

For “realistic” solution violations, the reason is most probably Numerical accuracy.

For “idealistic” warnings, to make sure AMPL can access the true objective value, see a Colab example detailing a more common case and a remedy consisting of an explicit variable for the objective value.